President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to commence an assessment of the extent of damage in communities affected by violence caused by clashes between herdsmen and farmers in some parts of the country so that they can be rebuilt.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, who stated this on Tuesday during the inaugural meeting of the recently composed Governing Council of NEMA at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, however stated that local people in the affected areas will play role in reconstruction
He said, “Mr. President has directed that we do a survey and assessment on the damage done to towns cities, communities that have been affected by violence in some parts of the country, including the farmers-herders clashes. NEMA will play a leading role in this and the Presidency will also provide direct support.
“We will involve the people in the affected communities, and not just bring people from outside these communities, in the rebuilding efforts. We will involve people in these villages, artisans and other people in the communities, with required skills so that they can also benefit economically as we rebuild these communities.”
Recall that Osinbajo, at the monthly meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC, on February 15, informed the Council that Buhari had approved the formation of a national Committee to look into the rebuilding of communities affected by the violence in the affected states.
This is in line with the commitment of the Buhari administration towards finding permanent solutions to the herdsmen-farmers clashes in some parts of the country, and ensuring the peace.
During Tuesday’s inaugural meeting, the Vice President, who is the chairman of the Governing Council, congratulated the new members and expressed the hope that the board would continue to be committed to the task ahead, adding that NEMA has been very visible in its role.
According to him, “NEMA has been taking on assignments even beyond its mandate. This is a responsibility that we must take seriously”.
Osinbajo further urged the agency to devote more to public sensitization regarding matters of emergency in the country and what the public needs to do in such circumstances.
He added that NEMA should engage stakeholders more to participate in addressing its responsibilities, including the private sector and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
Members of the board include the Director-General, NEMA; the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF; representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Water Resources. Other members include representatives of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Nigeria Police Force.
At the meeting, the Director-General of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, made a presentation on the work, role and challenges of the agency.