The Federal Government has said that inadequate emergency preparedness, response and policy intervention were largely responsible for why the country appears to be troubled by banditry and other insecurity challenges.
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the formal launch of a 352-page book titled: “A Planner’s Perspective on Disaster and Conflict; Issues of Forced Displacement of Persons, Management in Nigeria”, authored by Bassey Ita Etim-Ikang, a director in the ministry.
According to Akume, who was a former Governor of Benue State, banditry and other challenges cannot be overcome without the participation of all Nigerians, thus everyone must be involved in finding a lasting solution to the challenge.
“The challenges facing Nigeria include but not limited to inadequate emergency preparedness and response, the gap between relief materials management and durable development projects, and ad-hoc planning and policy intervention.
“There is also lack of institutional and legal framework for the management of internally displaced population in Nigeria, insufficient or absence of inter-agency collaboration which mostly results in agencies working at cross purposes with duplicative activities.
“The lack of a defined strategy and appropriate national framework of cooperation among relevant agencies and institutions to design a sustainable action plan for medium-long terms projects have been a huge deficit for policymakers.
“Therefore, all efforts to minimise the vicious cycle of violent conflicts and crisis arising from abject poverty and deprivation including lack of inclusive management structure based on a bottom-top approach to grassroots participation that recognises peace and confidence-building mechanism have just been put in place by the ministry,” Akume said.
The Author, Ikang, who is a Director of Human Resources, in the ministry, said his motivation to write the book stem from the dilapidated structure and rising cases of killings and insecurity ravaging the country.
“The book will impact greatly on humanitarian state and non-state actors, policymakers, the academia, the students, most especially the students in conflict management will find the book a tool in their hands. I believe that the agencies that are saddled with the management of disaster and conflict will be the great beneficiary of this book,” he said.
He said that internally displaced persons (IDPs) should be catered for and rehabilitated in order not to push them into crime, which they may see as the only means of survival and which may in turn worse the situation in the country.
The Chief launcher and Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, assured that he would continue to rally his colleagues to foster unity and deal decisively with those fomenting crises in the north and across the country.
Lalong who is also the Chairman of the Northern Governor’s Forum (NGF), said that he would share copies of the book with governors for them to study and utilise the knowledge to tackle violent conflicts in the region.
Also, a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, said those drumming up war do not understand the ripple effect as it would continue to affect the country’s economy, as investors will run to other African countries to do business.