ABUJA – The Federal Government on Thursday reaffirmed its determination to end insurgency in the country and reverse the attendant economic depression, especially in the Northeast.
Information Minister Labaran Maku quoted President Goodluck Jonathan as giving the assurance when a delegation of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council visited him in Abuja.
At the meeting which ended at 11.40 p.m. on Thursday, Jonathan, according to Maku, explained to the visitors, led by the Chairman of the council and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, measures already in place to this end.
“Their visit followed the meeting of northern traditional rulers in Kaduna yesterday (Wednesday) where it was resolved that they should brief the president and also make suggestions on what could be done to achieve results.
“They suggested to government things they believe should be done to enhance security operations in the North east.
“ Mr President, in his explanation, gave them a blow-by-blow account of measures being taken by the federal government to deal with the insurgency, to deal with the socio-economic issues, particularly in the north east.
“He mentioned, particularly, efforts by NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) to provide relief for internally displaced persons.
“Mr President also mentioned that recently the federal government gave about N750 million to a number of states in the insurgency areas to ameliorate the plight of internally displaced persons.
“He said government was determined to change the story in terms of economic intervention. Some of the intervention measures by government including the special projects and investments such as the government efforts to increase security in schools.
“The school safety programme, the foundation to deal with the question of victims of terror and special economic measures to improve the economic situation in the Northeast.
“He gave his word that the situation is changing and that everything is being done to ensure that we decisively deal with this issue of insurgency to increase security in the north.
“But called particularly for the cooperation of community leaders, traditional rulers and state governments so that working together with the federal government we can achieve higher results.’’
Speaking on behalf of Sultan, the Estu Nupe in Niger State, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, pledged the council’s support to the federal government on the war against insurgency.
Yahaya said that the support was in terms of awareness creation and sensitisation of their subjects on the need to rally round government against terrorists and insurgents.
He relayed the council’s commendation for the military for the “remarkable successes’’ achieved in its recent counter-insurgency operations especially in Borno State.
The Nupe monarch noted that if the tempo was sustained, the military would eventually rid the country of insurgents and allied criminal elements.
He also expressed satisfaction with the first-hand information from the president on measures being taken by the Federal Government to address the resultant economic issues in the north. The purpose of the visit, according to him, was to make their observations on the current security situation known to the president and make recommendations on the way forward.
“However, with the quick intervention which we received of recent, and then we saw how the military actually performed especially the operation in Konduga.
“We saw how they were able to repel the insurgents’ advances there. We feel that, yes, such encouragement should be given to the military to allow them to perform well in order to save the situation.
“On the economy aspect also we see certain areas of the economy especially agriculture should be supported.
“And also we talked about victims, how the victims would also be relieved of their sufferings, and also the internally displaced persons. [eap_ad_1] “We are very happy that we have been given some information, some sort of advances that have already been put on the ground.
“Like when the Vice President gave us a short brief about all those elements that have already been put on the ground, like the Victim Support Fund.
“The intervention fund of N220 billion that is already in the Central Bank, and even the agricultural programmes already on ground for immediate take-off.
“So, we feel that if those programmes are actually implemented as planned, Isha Allah, we shall achieve desired objectives.’’
A total of 13 traditional rulers were at the meeting, also attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen Anyim Pius Anyim. (NAN)