Samuel Ogidan and Ayoni M. Agbabiaka
Concerned citizens of Borno and Yobe states, under the aegis of Borno-Yobe People’s Forum, have called on the Presidency not to extend the emergency rule in the states.
The Forum, led by its chairman and elder statesman, Malam Adamu Ciroma, argued yesterday in Abuja at a world press conference on the crisis in the North-east that in spite of the military presence and emergency rule in those states, the “wanton destruction of lives and property, killings and violence” have not ceased.
Presenting the recommendations of the Forum, former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Al-Amin Daggash, said: “The current state of emergency, which expires on the 19th of April, 2014, should not be extended because it did not serve the purpose for which it was invoked. This will enable the state governments to use their meagre resources for the re-construction of the states as well as the rehabilitation and reintegration of our people.”
Also in its recommendation, the Forum declared the N2 billion budgeted for the North-east Initiative as “grossly inadequate.”
It said: “Government should establish a special intervention fund for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the zone as well as reintegration of the people affected by the crisis.”
The Forum further urged the federal government to implement the recommendations of the Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari and the Barrister Tanimu Turaki presidential committees, and to revisit the 2009 report of the NSA, the CDS, the IGP and the CDI.
“Had the latter been implemented, the insurgency would have been largely contained,” the group noted.
It also appealed to the members of Boko Haram to sheath their swords and dialogue with the authorities to find lasting solutions to “whatever grievances they may have.”