The secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Engr David Babachir Lawal, has stated that beyond every other need in the North-eastern region of the country, food for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) remains a greater need.
Babachir who made the statement when the Emir of Bade, HRH Abubakar Usman Suleiman paid him a courtesy visit yesterday, pointed out that the need for a means of livelihood for the returning IDPs in the region would be given priority.
“As much as you have raised a great point, I think a greater issue is
helping the internally displaced people (IDPs) from that area to return to their ancestral homes. But, then, after you get them home, they need means of survival – transportation, fishing, farming and other means – over the long-run.
“Rather than just supply food to these people, they need to be taught how to go about providing food for themselves over time. This is where the PINE comes in, but the PINE cannot do everything. The people need to fend for themselves after they have been established. The people need food to survive before the harvest comes; which is sometime from now,” Babachir said.
The SGF revealed that the PINE and the Save Schools Initiative (SSI) would, from henceforth, be subsumed under the Presidential Committee for North-east Initiatives (PCNEIs).
Speaking during the visit, Suleiman commended the federal government’s intervention in the state, via the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE).
He also expressed gratitude to PINE for the removal of 100 hectares of invasive plants blocking the canal of Kumkadugu River channel and the establishment of 115 hectares of simplified irrigation scheme in Jakusko Karawasuwa in Unguru local government area of the state.
The Kumkadugu-Yobe River has been a tributary to the Lake Chad Basin for 25 years, but, since the invasive plants took over, the river channel has flooded year after year, making it impossible for those who live along its banks, from Yobe, Kano and Maiduguri, to farm or raise livestock especially,