Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State has accused the Federal Government of bias in the rehabilitation of public buildings destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East by neglecting to rehabilitate public properties destroyed in Gombe State.
The governor equally urged his colleagues from the region to, as matter of urgency, dismantle various camps hosting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the region, saying “such camps are inhumane.”
Governor Dankwambo made the accusation, on Wednesday, when he received in audience at the Government House officials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) from the Gombe Operations Office.
He noted that even though Gombe State suffered its share of destruction of public buildings by Boko Haram, “not a single Kobo has been injected in terms of rehabilitation by the Federal Government.”
The governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to equally intervene as have been done in other states in the region by rehabilitating public buildings destroyed by the insurgents.
“I call upon them to come to Gombe, rehabilitate those schools that have been destroyed, rehabilitate those police stations that have been destroyed, key in to other projects we are doing to alleviate the sufferings of those who came the state.
“We are all North East, we have all been affected by the insurgency and we all desire to be given attention as other states have been given,” Dankwambo said.
On the call to dismantle IDPs camps, Dankwambo pointed out that living in such camps does not augur well for the economic wellbeing of the people.
“For healthy people used to normal life, camps are not humane, not good and not part of our culture. It does not help and encourage them to contribute to nation building.
“We should dismantle them before the end of this year. We should make effort to restore peace as we have been told that peace has been restored in most places in the North East, the people should be encouraged to go back to these places to live normal lives,” he said.
Dankwambo commended the Federal Government, security agencies and NEMA for various interventions, including huge sums of money pumped into the region in order to address prevailing security challenges.
In her opening address, Head of Operations NEMA Gombe Office, Amina Ahman, which covers both Gombe and Bauchi states, said she was at the Government House on familiarization visit as well as update the governor on the activities of her agency.
Earlier, Governor Dankwambo also received in his audience, the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) Country Representative, Mohammed Malick Fall who was on a working visit to the state.
Fall, who first commiserated with the government and people of the state over the demise of Abdullai Kaikai, head of UNICEF Field Office in Bauchi, said he was in Gombe to renew commitments on women and children agenda regarding key issues of girl-child education, immunization and nutrition.
Speaking on the Boko Haram rehabilitation camp for repentant Boko Haram under the Operation Safe Corridor, Fall announced UNICEF’s plan to intervene through providing expertise on child protection in conflict.
“Special attention needed to mitigate the impact in terms of violence experienced, separation with their communities, loss of their parents, inability to access education,” he said.
Fall said it has become necessary to reintegrate these children properly as according to him, “Experience has shown that if you are not able to properly integrate children from conflict you are inadvertently preparing for future insurgents.”
Responding, Dankwambo reassured UNICEF of the commitments of his administration to adequately provide funds to provide quality education and healthcare for children.