By Mahmud Isa
Concerned indigenes of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe States have called on the North East Development Commission, NEDC, to expedite action in implementing the commission’s blueprint for peace to return to the region.
The indigenes, otherwise called North East Development Association, NEDA, made call in Abuja at a press briefing to draw the attention of the NEDC to address numerous socio-economic challenges in the North East.
Spokesman of the group, Abubakar Umar Bitako explained that nine months after the inauguration of the NEDC, the commission has failed to provide the expected support to the victims of the insurgency in line with its constitutional mandate.
“This association is calling on the management team of the North East Development Commission, NEDC, to as a matter of utmost urgency wake up to their duties as their silence in the equation of their responsibilities is becoming worrisome.
Northeasterners have started asking questions on their existence, particularly with the recent series of terrorist attacks in the sub-region and display of laxity in the implementation of their wonderful blueprints in terms of both immediate and the long term measures.” Bitako added.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for establishing the NEDC, Mr. Umar Bitako pledged the association’s and the entire people of the North East commitment to assist the commission in finding the short and long time solution to the challenges.
He said “The commission, NEDC was inaugurated on the 8th of May 2019 by Mr. President and a takeoff grant of Ten Billion Naira(N10,000,000,000:00) was given to them and another Twenty-Six Billion Naira (N26,000,000,000:00) was subsequently disbursed to the commission, ie a whopping sum of Thirty-Six Billion Naira(N36,000,000,000:00) is so far in the coffers of the Commission.
Hence, this amount to Northeasterners, particularly, the victims of insurgency and other related conflict in the sub-region is supposed to be a palliative measures, thus, an alleviation model, but silence in biting the region hard. The question is, when are they going to hit the ground running?”
On what the association need the NEDC to do, Mr. Bitako said infrastructures damaged by the insurgents must be reconstructed and rehabilitate while the displaced victims should be supported to return to their ancestral home.
NEDC was established following the passage of the NEDC Bill and assented to it by the President in 2018.