A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Dr. Garus Gololo, has charged the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Mohammed Goni Alkali, to wake up from “slumber” and deliver on the mandate given to him and the commission.
This call was coming barely 48 hours after about 110 persons were reportedly killed in a Boko Haram attack on a farming community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
Though officials and residents had pegged the casualties of Saturday’s attack on rice farmers to 43; on Sunday, the UN resident coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said the death toll from the attack could be as high as 110.
Gololo, in his reaction on Monday, said the people of the North East had not seen or felt the impact of the Commission, saying a lot of victims of attacks were unattended to, while the families of slain farmers and locals beg for food and shelter.
“The essence of establishing the Commission was for the peace and development of the North East region. I’m from that region and I can tell you that we don’t understand how the Commission is being run, despite the huge allocations from the federation account,” Gololo said.
He added that, “despite citing the headquarters of the Commission in Borno and picking the Managing Director from there, the people of the state and other states ravaged by insurgencies, still scamper for shelter and beg for food”.
Gololo urged the Commission to come to the aide of victims and families of victims of insurgencies in the region, stressing that, the original dream of Senator Ali Ndume when he introduced the Bill and supported its passage should not be allowed to go down.
While throwing his weight behind the resolutions of North East Governors Forum last week on security and development of the region; Gololo advised President Muhammadu Buhari to monitor closely, the activities of NEDC.
The NEDC was established in 2017, charged with the responsibilities to, among other things, receive and manage funds from allocation of the Federal Account, international donors for the settlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of insurgency as well as tackling menace of poverty, illiteracy level, ecological problems and any other related environmental or developmental challenges in the North-East states.
The North East States as captured in the Bill include, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.