Under a Buhari Presidency, Nigeria must salvage itself from the organised crimes/ killings and bloodshed all over the land to discredit his administration. Those still angered with his administration should know and are free to continue with the killing spree of compatriots across Nigeria in the guise of hatred for President Muhammadu Buhari through their moles planted everywhere in sabotage.
They should never have bothered because in 2023, Buhari would not be a factor in the presidential elections of Nigeria any longer. Those seeking political power either for themselves or acolytes (annointed godsons/daughters) under any particular political party platform in 2023, must know, in democracies globally, power is not obtained by savagious means. Democracy frowns at the barbaric force of weapons of bloodshed prevalent in the country now to discredit the incumbent leader.
Nigerians imposed the Boko Haram insurgency and other allied insurrections on themselves since 2009. The present administration of Buhari has battled this lionized criminal oddity for too long and in spite of the frustrations, President Buhari is still obstinently trudging ahead.
So, both the sabs and their enablers, should give Buhari and Nigerians a break. Nigeria deserves a break from this satanic “madness,” just for sake of political grandstanding.
Terrorism has brought a lot of setbacks to the states in the Northeastern part of the country. The war has left many people of the region homeless, displaced from their ancestral homes, deprived in many ways and has re-interpreted life to them as meaningless. But Buhari vowed never to falter. And the positive results are glaring now.
And indisputably and at this point of Nigeria’s history, the survival of the people and reconstruction of the region rests firmly on the shoulders of the federal government and sympathetic NGOs now that respite has descended substantially in that region. No evil can puncture the sanity of humanism.
Normalcy has returned to the affected areas and this is where the Buhari Presidency is concerned. The Boko Haram propagandists, promoters and sympathisers in Nigeria never wished the insurgency would douse it’s fires to this level palpable now under the Buhari Presidency.
With the military imposition of normalcy, Buhari has also prioritized the reconstruction and rebuilding of the Northeast region. Mr. President has sought and obtained a legislation from National parliament for the establishment of North East Development Commission (NEDC).
It’s not new news anymore. But since the assumption of office in 2015, the President Buhari- led administration in a bid to reconstruct the damaged physical and social infrastructures in order to tackle the humanitarian crisis faced by the people of the region, never deviated from this focus. The President also persuaded the Nigerian Army to execute Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in the region. And the Army came full swing, traversing the region, including Sambisa forest.
With these combined efforts, Buhari has concretized a solid peace-building, reconciliation and de-radicalization framework, birthed in the NEDC, as the lawful executor. The President knew that issues such as illiteracy, poverty and unemployment which were rampant in the region have the potency to recruit fresh Nigerian youngsters into the terror sects.
The mandate of the NEDC which was established in 2017 and inaugurated in 2019, is to reconstruct damaged infrastructures in the region, rehabilitate and resettle the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency, tackle illiteracy, ecological and environmental disasters and any other related developmental challenges in the North-Eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states, using FGN allocated funds to NEDC and International donors.
The Commission is a brainchild of other initiatives hitherto in place such as the Victims Support Fund (VSF), the TY Danjuma- led Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE), and Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative (PCNI).
As a lawful initiative of President Buhari’s administration, the NEDC started on a solid foundation.The commission needed to be headed by a resourced, prepared individual with vast knowledge and an unquestionable track record of performance as its pioneer Managing Director.
And the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Alhaji Mohammed Goni Alkali assumed leadership. Thereafter, the commission commenced full operations in 2019, recording success upon successes in it’s operations of rebuilding the insurgency ravaged region.
Apparently, an old horse on the saddle, Mohammed Alkali understood that the mandate of the NEDC is to first of all, serve as a humanitarian – interventionist agency in the region. Secondly, to render the needed support to the people of North-Eastern Nigeria having suffered enough from the atrocities of terrorist sects.
And the commission has impacted marvelously through an Eye Care Foundation. It has successfully conducted over 1000 minor and major cataract surgeries for natives in the region.
Also, the NEDC’s Eye Care Foundation has been replicated in all states of the region, especially at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
All patients with eye related ailments are treated free- of- charge, at no cost of whatever indentity. The commission is working in conjunction with all the state governments in the region on the Eye Care Intervention project and the results have been wonderfully impressive.
So far, the NEDC’s Eye Care Intervention has reached out to IDP’s camps in Monguno and 12 other separate camps in Maiduguri. It has covered over 5,000 persons affected by the long years of unrest in the Northeast region.
The commission under Mohammed Alkali has also helped in resettling hundreds of thousands of IDPs back to their deserted and ruined ancestral homes. It is also providing agricultural inputs to returnee-IDPs to reactivate farming activities, which is the traditional occupation of the people.
And since it’s establishment, the NEDC has also been able to empower thousands of aspiring Nigerians from the North East using other initiatives. It’s prominently registered a yearly N6 billion Education Endowment Fund for youths in the region has offended the sensibilities of Boko Haramists, whose central ideology is “western education is forbidden.” Desirous youngsters after educational pursuit in the region are glad as proud beneficiaries of NEDC’s annual scholarship.
Nigerians can only appreciate the great job the NEDC is doing in Northeast on the realization that the region accounts for nearly 60 per cent of the 13 million out-of-school children in the country. It’s a great leap forward!
The NEDC’s Education Endowment Fund has been able to provide an avenue for the engagement of over 20,000 beneficiaries annually to enable them have access to academic and professional capacity development opportunities in their various fields of endeavour. It is also redressing the region’s devastated educational sector by rebuilding insurgency- damaged educational infrastructures.
This is in addition to the implementation of about 1,300 Rapid Response Intervention projects in the whole of the 112 Local Government Areas of the North Eastern region of the country.
Additionally, there has also been a regular awards of scholarship for undergraduates, students of post-graduate studies and other lower cadre entrepreneurial interventions. The scholarship has covered all the 1,028 wards and 112 Local Government Areas in the six member-states of the Northeast region as beneficiaries.
It is in addition to the implementation of an Integrated Agriculture Programme involving the provision of agricultural machinery and equipment, seeds, fertilizers, agro-chemicals and extension service logistics vehicles to enhance the production capacity of smallholder farmers in Northeast to enable resettled displaced persons regain their lost livelihoods.
Still concerned, the NEDC staged out out boldly on outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria in 2020 The NEDC donated medical equipment and preventive items to the six states of the region as part of measures to curtail the spread of the Virus.
The items donated to the each of the state governments included Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ventilators, surgical masks, ordinary masks, infra-red thermometer, hand gloves and sanitizers. This support by the NEDC went a long way in complementing the efforts of the federal and state governments in controlling the spread of the virus in the region.
The Mohammed Alkali led NEDC is building a Molecular Laboratory at the Yobe State University. This is another wonderful initiative and when completed, the laboratory would be used as a test centre for Covid-19, yellow fever, Lassa and other hemorrhagic fevers among other diseases and outbreaks. The NEDC is building the laboratory in partnership with the Yobe State Government and, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), among other partners.
And just within a short period of time in the office, the Mohammed Alkali led North East Development Commission (NEDC) has almost completed the rehabilitation of drinking water and Sanitation facilities in many states in the North East. Upon completion, this facilities will provide over 1.3 million people of the region with access to clean drinking water. This project is being undertaken by the NEDC in collaboration with the World Bank under the Multi-sectoral Crisis Recovery Project.
In the area of accountability, the NEDC boss has ensured that all funds allocated to the commission are judiciously used for the good of the people of the region. As attested by many staff of the commission, the NEDC under Alkali is result- oriented. Contracts awarded by the commission always follow due process and are executed to the latter. This is the kind of foundation Mohammed Alkali has laid for the NEDC.
It is important to note that as a brainchild of the President Buhari’s administration, the NEDC is currently living up to its expectations. The Alkali commission has not derailed from its given mandate.
All Nigerians must support the leadership of the commission to salvage the Northeastern region in the aftermath of the Boko Haram crisis, in order to make the region a better place for all Nigerians. Through the NEDC, President Buhari is actualizing his fondest dream of rebuilding the war-torn Northeast region, after the defeat of terrorism.