Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has lauded the success of military intervention in ridding the North East of Boko Haram insurgents even as he called for immediate resettlement for thousands of internally displaced persons still waiting in camps.
In a speech delivered at the annual Founder’s Day organized in his honour at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) Yola, Atiku said despite the gains recorded in the war against insurgency, Boko Haram, remained a potent threat to many communities in the area as they continue to carry out small attacks on remote communities.
“The commitment of the Federal government and the state governments in this zone, as well as the support of the governments of our neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger, have pushed back against the violent insurgency and improved the security of citizens in the area. The improvement in the security situation also means that some internally displaced persons have been able to return to their homes and try to resume normal lives. I would like to specially acknowledge the efforts of our security forces in making these possible”.
He, however, expressed concern over the population of IDPs including children who could not back to their communities, calling on government to do more to finish off what remained of the insurgents and rebuild destroyed infrastructure.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain suggested for reconstruction of bridges, schools, worship places and other critical infrastructure as well as improved access to educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people as the means of tackling the security problem at its root.
“However, more still needs to be done to restore normalcy in this area. The insurgency remains. The insurgents still occupy a specific geographical space. They still retain the capacity for occasional deadly attacks. Many citizens in the zone still remain vulnerable and live in fear; and we cannot say that the problem is over until every displaced person is able to return home, to the office, to the market, to the farm, and resume normal activities. We cannot say it is over until we rebuild the schools, the churches, the hospitals, the markets, and the homes that had been destroyed. And we cannot say it’s over until the survivors of this insurgency receive the help they need, including psychological therapy to deal with the trauma that they have been through”, he stated.