The Borno – Yobe People’s Forum recommends as follows:
1. In line with section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”, the Federal Government should comprehensively address the security and welfare of citizens in the affected areas. Government must do everything possible to arrest the senseless destruction of lives and properties.
2. The current state of emergency which expires on the 19th of April, 2014 should not be extended because it did not serve the purpose for which it was invoked. This will enable the state governments to use their meager resources for the re-construction of the states as well as the rehabilitation and reintegration of our people.
3. Government should un-mask the sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgents and any other group(s) and person(s) that are involved in the insurgency in the North East. As has been previously recommended by the Northern Elders Forum, Government should probe the genesis of the crises with particular regards to those who master minded, encouraged or financed it. The full wrath of the law should be brought to bear on those found guilty.
4. Government should thoroughly investigate human rights abuses including alleged extra judicial killings, maiming, tortures, rapes and abductions that may have been committed during the insurgency from 2009 to date.
5. Government should expedite the trial of the security agents that were implicated in the extra judicial killings of Mohammed Yusuf and others which precipitated the crises and has been used to justify the insurgency.
6. Government should secure all borders, especially our borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger, to arrest the influx of mercenaries, arms and ammunitions into Nigeria.
7. Government should investigate the violation of the Nigerian airspace in which helicopters were alleged to be dropping arms in Birnin Gwari, Benue as well as the North East.
8. The Federal and State Governments in the affected areas should re-strategize and secure all schools and colleges in the area. There must be a deliberate effort to keep our children in school. To do otherwise will not only exacerbate the educational backwardness of the states but may not augur well for the future of our children and country.
9. The two billion Naira budgeted for the North East Initiative is grossly inadequate. Government should establish a special intervention fund for the re-construction and re-habilitation of the zone as well as re-integration of the people affected by the crises.
10. We urge the International community, the United Nations, International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies, Civil Society Organizations and people of means to join in the task of re-building the States affected by the insurgency and by giving succor to the over three million people affected by the crises.
11. Government should repatriate Nigerian refugees in Chad, Niger, and Cameroun and take immediate measures to rehabilitate, reintegrate and compensate them.
12. Government should provide safe corridors to access the affected States to deliver relief from both local and international sources.
13. We urge both the Federal and State Governments to provide well equipped and adequately staffed Medical Centers to cater for the large number of casualties. These should also include Trauma Centers to treat physical trauma as well as counseling victims for psychological trauma.
14. We urge the Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari and Barrister Tanimu Turaki Presidential Committees, and to revisit the 2009 Report of the NSA, CDS, IGP and CDI. It is the considered view of many commentators that, had the latter Report been implemented, the insurgency would have been largely contained.
The Forum wishes to seize this opportunity to appeal to members of Boko Haram to sheath their swords and dialogue with the authorities to find long lasting solutions to whatever grievances they may have.
In conclusion, the Borno – Yobe People’s Forum wishes to place on record its gratitude and appreciation to the Nigerian security agencies and the Civilian JTF who have put their lives on the line, in serving the nation. We also wish to place on record our appreciation to the international community, Civil Society Organizations, Women groups, the Media both national and international and all well meaning Nigerians for their concern and quest for a just resolution to the crises.
Last but not the least, the Forum wishes to place on record its appreciation to the Governors of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States for courageously and stoically standing with our people despite the hydra headed challenges including their personal safety and security.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we thank you for attending this press conference and urge you to remain undeterred in the quest for the truth and in resolving the crises in the North East.
Being concluded part of the text of the World Press Conference organised by Borno-Yobe People’s Forum on the crises in the North-East held on 31st March 2014 at 10:00 AM at Barcelona Hotel, Abuja.