Published On: Mon, Nov 21st, 2016

Boko Haram Still Capable Of Deadly Attacks, Atiku Warns

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YOLA/By Dan Garba – A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has called for more government effort to put an end to Boko Haram attack in the north east, insisting that the insurgents are still capable of deadly attacks since they still occupy a specific geographic space in the zone.

Mr. Atiku noted that Boko Haram still retain the capacity for occasional deadly attacks and that many citizens in the zone remain vulnerable and live in fear.

Former Vice President

Former Vice President

The former Vice President who spoke at the 11th annual Founder’s Day ceremony of the America University of Nigeria (AUN), weekend in Yola, said we cannot say insurgency is over until people returned to their normal lives.

According to him, “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.”

Mr. Atiku also lamented over the situation in the Internally Displaced Persons camp, expressing concern about the fate of students of school age who are yet unable to attend school.

“I visited an IDP camp on Saturday and had the privilege of teaching a math class to some children. But the site of hundreds of children running around and unable to attend school was very gut wrenching.  It still breaks my heart. So, we cannot say the insurgency is over until all the displaced children return to their schools”. Atiku stressed.

“We should no longer wait for socio-economic and political problems to fester for a long time before we tackle them, the way we routinely wait for small potholes on our roads to develop into huge gullies and death-traps before we try to fix them, if at all. That should be a critical lesson of this insurgency.

“So let us take immediate steps to put our people to work. Let’s fix our roads, bridges and schools and other infrastructures. Let us expand schooling in this zone and other parts of the country. Let’s expand enrolment, and hire and train highly qualified and motivated teachers who are paid well.

“Let’s resolve to strictly enforce the law that makes primary and secondary education free and compulsory in this country so that every child stays in school until at least the age of 18.  Let us expand vocational training in addition to improving our universities and polytechnics. Let us expose our youth to entrepreneurship as part of their education, to help us to really create employment and grow the economy and incomes in a sustainable way.

“Germany seems to offer a great example on vocation training and apprenticeship. We may want to carefully study its system to see how we can adopt elements of it for our country, our people and our economy.” He said

He however commended the government at the Central and State for putting in their best that has brought significant improvements in the security situation in the north east.

“The commitment of the Federal Government and the state Government 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 added.

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