Abuja Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno State on Thursday challenged northern elites to create jobs and empower youths in order to end insurgency in the North-East.
Shettima gave the advice in Abuja at the Advocacy and Fund Raising for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) in the North East, organised by Media Trust Ltd, the publisher of Daily Trust Newspaper.
According to him, once jobs are created and youths engaged, the security challenges ravaging the North-East will evaporate.
Shettima, who attributed the insecurity to the poverty in the area, challenged northern elites, particularly of North east extraction, to take the necessary action to empower youths.
He observed that many elites who were products of public schools, now send their children to the best private schools, thinking they can sleep safely.
“They cannot sleep safely because children of the poor have been deprived of education.’’
Shettima said that the state government had begun the process of rebuilding Bama town destroyed by the insurgents and commended the management of Daily Trust for raising funds for the sustenance of IDPs.
Mr Timonthy Mshelia, a member of Borno State Health Technical Committee on IDPs, who presented a paper at the occasion, said Borno government spent N600 million every month to sustain IDPs.
Mshelia, whose paper was entitled: “Impact of Insurgency in the North-East of Nigeria”, said the N26 billion expended on IDPs by the Federal Government was like a drop in a cup of tea.
According to him, there are at present 26 IDPs camps in Borno State, adding that they were being fed with 162 bags of rice daily in each camp.
He called on philanthropists to donate generously towards the worthy cause.
In his remark, Malam Abubakar the Project Coordinator, Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on IDPs Intervention project, stressed the need for proper coordination by intervention agencies.
Muhammed said immediate intervention was going on in all the IDPs camps, suggesting that schools and vocational training facilities should be provided in all the camps.
He said that mid-term intervention such as provision of education, health, nutrition and livelihood was imperative.
He, however Muhammed, the need for long-term intervention by rehabilitating the communities destroyed by the insurgents.
Also speaking, Hajia Bilikisu Yusuf, the Executive Director, Advocacy Nigeria, an NGO, said the occasion marked 500 days when Chibok girls were abducted in 2014.
Yusuf, who urged security agencies to intensify efforts to bring the girls safe and alive, said victims of insurgency had experiences of rape, forced marriages, forced labour and sexual abuse.
Similarly, a former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, urged the media to demand for transparency and accountability on how the relevant agencies discharged their responsibilities to IDPs in the North-East.
EzeKwesili said that accountability would enhance good leadership and good governance.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aliko Dangote Foundation, six governors from the North-East, lawmakers from the North East and others raised N230 million at the occasion. (NAN)