The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai has said that the successful closure of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country would hasten the psychological defeat of the Boko Haram insurgency.
According to Daily Trust, Buratai made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at a “Think-Tank Conference on the Humanitarian Crisis in the North East: Towards a Strategic Response” organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).
He was represented at the event by the Director General of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Major General Johnny Godwin Hamakim.
On the Military perspective of the lack of a Comprehensive Strategic Humanitarian Response and the need for one, Buratai said the lack of such policy is responsible for the near anarchic way humanitarian agencies operate and render helps in the northeast.
He bemoaned the lack of cooperation among humanitarian agencies, stating that the multiplicity of local humanitarian agencies with less coordination and collaboration, and overlapping of mandates has often led to confusions including by foreign humanitarian agencies on which office to collaborate with.
“In designing a comprehensive strategic humanitarian response plan, the goal should be clearly spelt out as it will determine the kind of assistance to be rendered which could either be minimalist or maximalist in nature,” Buratai said.
Also, the Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahaman Bello Danbazzau said that the Lake Chad Basin has become an incubation centre for terrorists and a lucrative market place for illicit small arms and light weapon as a result of activities of the Boko Haram Insurgents.
The Minister represented by the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of Counter Terrorism, Dan Bature said that the region has now become home of Africa’s poorest people despite its vast arable land and huge potentials.
“While government’s sustained war against Boko Haram in the north east has seen the capability of power projection of the group and its ability to hold territories significantly degraded, government is however concern d that Boko Haram replenishes itself from the deteriorating situation in the Lake Chard Basin which has become a source of grave global concern,” he said.
On his part the Acting Director General of the NIPSS Jonathan Juma said the situation in the north east has been further complicated by the its chronic underdevelopment, high rate of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, adding that the immensity of needs by sheer numbers of people affected remains very challenging.
He said that although Nigeria has been receiving technical assistance, financial advice and political support from the International community, the country was yet to benefit from the United Nations Peace Building Fund (PBF) which was established in 2005.
Juma attributed the situation to the absence of an elaborate strategic plan for peace building in the north east with clear mechanism for effective partnership between national authorities, the UN, donors and civil societies.