Buni’s speech: 10 Years of BH insurgency in the Northeast and matters arising
The Periscope event reporter
Full Text: Speech by His Excellency, the Governor of Yobe State Hon. Mai Mala Buni at the Launch of ‘Holding On’ Virtual Reality Experience in Remembrance of Boko Haram Crisis in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States at UN Building, Abuja on 31st July 2019
As has been noted, it is now exactly ten years since the start of Boko Haram insurgency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
As we grapple with the devastating effects of the insurgency, it is fitting that we are gathered here today to share experiences and renew our commitment to addressing the humanitarian and developmental challenges that the insurgency has instigated.
I want to thank the United Nations and all our development partners for what you have done to help us navigate through the crisis so far, and for what you will continue to do on behalf of peace, security and stability going forward.
In the years since it began, Boko Haram has created the worst humanitarian crisis of our lifetimes. Yobe State is only second to Borno State in terms of the devastation and destruction that Boko Haram has caused.
There are now more than seven million people in the three affected states that are still in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
The displacement of people from their communities also affects their capacity to engage in meaningful economic activity, including farming. This, in turn, has worsened a food security situation that clearly pre-dated Boko Haram.
Prior to the Boko Haram crisis, for example, the North-East region reportedly has the lowest indices of development relative to the rest of Nigeria, particularly in healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Many believe that poverty, joblessness and ignorance are part of the factors that gave rise to the Boko haram insurgency in the first place.
As tough and defining as our security challenges are, the federal and Yobe State governments, with support from all of you, have continued to do our best to meet those challenges.
As a result of these efforts, we have now moved beyond a humanitarian assistance situation to reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement phase.
For example, using our very limited and competing resources, we have funded the restoration of some basic social services, including water supply to some of the affected communities, schools, healthcare facilities, law and justice infrastructure, and markets, amongst others.
But reconstruction and resettlement are clearly the most challenging for us in Yobe State, given the enormity of the devastation to our infrastructure and our capacity for service delivery.
The Yobe State Government therefore stands in need of the continuous support of the United Nations and of all our development partners.
With the relative improvement in the security situation across the state, I believe our partners have a chance to come in more forcefully now and continue to support our post-conflict initiatives, which include:
Provision of basic services, such as water and hygiene, and electricity.
Rebuilding of basic infrastructure.
Action to stabilize the security environment.
Protection for vulnerable groups and households.
Support for affected persons as they begin to re-build their lives, and;
Support for community peace building and resilience activities.
As we work to achieve these goals, the Yobe State Government will maintain and expand our partnerships both governmental and non-governmental organisations and entities.
In the months and years ahead, we would look forward to working more closely with the United Nations and all our development partners to ensure that the project of sustainable reconstruction, rehabilitation, recovery and peace building across Yobe state is successful.