Members of the House of Representatives have commended H.E Governor Ibrahim Gaidam for the effort he made so far in the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the reconstruction of facilities and infrastructure destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in parts of the state affected by their terrorist activity.
Chairman of the House Committee on IDPs and Refugees Hon. Muhammad Sani Zoro who led members of his committee and those of the committee on emergencies and disaster preparedness on a fact-finding mission to Yobe State said, during a courtesy call on the governor at Government House Damaturu this afternoon, that the commendation followed a motion moved by Hon. Goni Bukar Lawan from Yobe State, who called attention to the effort of Governor Gaidam in devoting the lean resources of the state to helping victims of Boko Haram insurgency.
“The House unanimously resolved to commend Your Excellency for the effort and decided to write a commendation letter to you signed by the Clerk of the National Assembly – meaning the entire institution of the National Assembly”, Zoro said.
Zoro added that the House found the Yobe Model which encouraged the integration of IDPs within host comunities as exemplary. “By the law of internal idsplacement, this is the best way to manage internal displacement”, he said.
Zoro said the House also resolved to call on the federal government to pay ‘massive compensation’ to Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States for the resources and funds they expended in catering to a myriad of challenges and needs as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The House Committee Chairman also spoke about the need to give the three most affected states the means to directly use funds to support rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected areas.
He explained that this is important because the federal agencies responsible for humanitarian interventions in the Northeast, such as the National Commission for Refugees and the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative are ‘weak’ and ‘not capable’ of addressing all the problems of the region.
He said the problem of corruption is also a challenge in the humanitarian intervention universe, a fact which has made some international organisations to withold some of their to assistance to IDPs because of lack of transparency in the conduct of some of the organisations.
Zoro said the federal government and partner international organisations such as the United Nations who want to channel humanitarian assistance through the state governments should not hesitate to do so “provided certain guidelines are followed for how the funds could be used because the interventions of the state governments are also systematic”.
On his part, H.E Gov. Gaidam thanked the leadership of the House of Represenatives for their concern, saying the visit by the two committees will afford members the opportunity to interact with stakeholders and have a sense of the devastations and destructions of public and private property caused by Boko Haram.
The governor said that the failure of the previous Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government to finance the war against Boko Haram fully and effectively made his administration to deploy the meagre resources at its disposal to helping the campaign against Boko Haram insurgents through the payment of allowances to security operatives, procurement and maintenance of vehicles, logistics, medical assitance to security agents and provision of relief and medical assitance to victims, amongst others.
He said that by the end of the first quarter of 2015, the Yobe State Government had spent a total of N15.8 billion in Boko Haram-related expenses.
The governor regretted, however, that despite the huge costs to the Yobe State Government, the Jonathan administration gave the state N150 million only in “sharp contrast to the huge budgetary allocation to the security sector by that administration”.
H.E Gov. Gaidam commended the effort of the Buhari administration and the Nigerian security forces and vigilante groups for the return of peace in the state.
He called on the House Committees to follow up on their call for compensation to be paid by the federal government and called for more support to help victims of Boko Haram violence rebuild and reclaim their lives.