The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said the country could not wait for another generation of leaders to resolve the humanitarian crises in the North East.
He said this while receiving a delegation from Borno which came to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent release of 82 Chibok girls from the Boko Haram captivity.
According to him, it is this generation of leaders who must do what it takes to resolve most of the issues that face the country in the North East.
Osinbajo said that the Federal Government would re-strategise with all the agencies involved in the rehabilitation of victims of insurgency in order to address their most urgent problems.
“Perhaps it might be wise for us to take a look first about how to save the children and to save peoples’ lives and then begin to address questions of infrastructure as we go along.
“But I think it is important that people don’t die while we are thinking, people don’t die while we are planning to ensure that we are able to provide for them.
“So what I will suggest is that we take some time out to look at this, the Borno State government, the Federal Government, and then of cause the PCNI, PINE and all the other government initiatives that are working out there.
“And then plan things better, outline what is priority and then determine what it will cost us and then we can work from there.
“But I think it is important that we take a second look at what we have organized so far so that we will be able to do something more.’’
Osinbajo said that the crises in the North East had grown deeper but noted that it was gratifying that more people were freed from captivity by the armed forces and international partners.
He said the government must determine what needed to be done and do everything that it would take to hold the officials to account for the lives of the children and vulnerable people.
“That in my view is the whole point about leadership, otherwise I don’t see how we can justify our leadership in any other way,’’ he said.
The Acting President acknowledged that a lot of what happened in the release of the Chibok girls were largely because the international community and development partners believed in the integrity of Buhari.
He said the partners “recognize his genuineness, forthrightness and felt the need to help,’’ adding that they did not have to wonder if there was any other thing else going on.
“We are thankful for that kind of leadership that has showed so much integrity.’’
Osinbajo observed that so many people made sacrifices in the course of insurgency, especially in Borno, and said the disaster in the region was unimaginable.
He said the administration did not know how long it would take to restore all that were lost in physical infrastructure not to talk about the lost lives.
Osinbajo said that Buhari noted that the arrival of the 82 girls to the Villa had boosted his health.
He said Nigerians should rejoice that the release of the girls had taken place and expressed optimism that the remaining girls and others in captivity would regain their freedom.
Borno Gov. Kashim Shetima, who led the delegation, said the state was surprised in October 2016 with the release of 21 Borno daughters by the Buhari administration.
He added that the record-breaking negotiation also secured the release of another 82 female students.
Shetima said that his state was in the Villa to thank Buhari, his team, the armed forces, the Swiss government and the International Red Cross committee for the feat.
The governor whose wife, Nana, was also at the event attributed the feat to the integrity of the President.
He said the President inherited a battered economy and that with his determination the country would attain greatness again.
He thanked the parents of the girls for their patience waiting for the girls and urged parents whose girls had yet to return to remain hopeful and prayerful for God to turn the situation around.
The Chairman Governors Forum, Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, commended the efforts of the President and Vice President for the release of the Chibok girls.
He also thanked God for His intervention and expressed the hope that more captives would return and that insurgency in the North East would be routed out.
The former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, noted the personal interest shown by Osinbajo in the plight of the people of the North East.
He said that the humanitarian crises in the region were beyond anyone’s imagination in spite of the efforts made by the international community.
The Senator noted that the budget of Borno could not take care of the problems, adding that the budget of N45 billion for the PCNI was grossly inadequate and urged the federal government to boost the allocation.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, said that all the released girls were in good shape and thanked the Acting President for being thorough in the identification of the girls.
She also thanked the Borno governor and the UN system for their special interest in the rehabilitation of the released school girls.
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