Two non-governmental organisations, North East Regional Initiative (NERI) and Global Rights Advocacy, have stated that, though the federal government is doing so much to bring the high level of violence in the northeast to an end, it cannot handle it alone. The statement was made at a book launch titled ‘Ordinary Saviour’ on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, the programme director, NERI, John Onyeukwu, said that the reason for the book launch was to bring to the notice of Nigerians, the level of wickedness in the area of violence being perpetrated in the northeast, which many Nigerians are unaware of.
Onyeukwu said that though the government has done a lot in calming the issues ravaging the north east, there is still much to be done. He further called on Nigerians to extend a helping hand to resist and stop the monsters from terrorising the people in the region.
‘‘The issue of terrorism in the northeast has not stopped. What we have done is to damage them, which is why we still hear stories from that region. The government is only one institution, which has done much, and they need to do more. The North East Regional Initiative (NERI) funded by USAID, is a project focused on positively impacting on the citizens in the northeast.
‘‘We strategically target assisting local partners in our pursuit for offering alternatives to extremist actions against vulnerable individuals and also ensured that we increase community resilience to extremist actions,’’ he said.
Furthermore, Onyeukwu added that ‘Ordinary Saviour’ is a collection of true stories from the northeast told by zealous Nigerian youths so that the world can relate with the battles in the north east.
‘‘We decided to document the stories from the northeast in a non-technical way through a fiction book. Ordinary Saviour, basically, expounds the problems in the region from different angles, either from a family trying to manage the challenges they are facing, or from the angle of a couple trying to deal with some of the issues that come with the region or someone who had to relocate from the northeast due to the problems within.
‘‘Ordinary Saviour carries a message of hope that despite all what is happening in the north east, there is hope and as a country, we will overcome. Nigeria, as a country, needs to focus more on the northeast and devise possible means that will bring us out of the challenges therein,’’ he said
He however, added that NERI focused on young people in the north and other parts of Nigeria to tell their stories and own the narrative rather than leave it to outsiders who may not feel what they felt, and who may not fully understand their deep desire for peace and development.
While speaking, the executive director, Global Rights Initiative, Abiodun Baiyewu, said the government needs to understand the people living in the northeast and their culture and accord them, dignity because a lot of them have been dehumanised.
“We need to go beyond the hardline of security to ideology of security, which refers to understanding of people, their culture and ensuring the rights of people are respected.
“One of the issues being highlighted is that a lot of the people of the northeast are dehumanised and as a result, they need to be accorded dignity.”