Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume, has attributed inadequate emergency preparedness, planning, response and policy intervention to the reasons the country appears to be under the grip of bandits.
Akume, a former Governor of Benue State spoke yesterday in Abuja, at a book launch titled: A Planner’s Perspective on Disaster and Conflict; Issues of Forced Displacement of Persons, Management in Nigeria’, and authored by Bassey Ita Etim-Ikang.
The minister said all hands must be on deck to address the problem and that adequate manpower should be provided to weed out bandits.
“The challenges facing Nigeria includes but not limited to inadequate emergency preparedness and response, the gap between relief materials management and durable development projects, and ad-hoc planning and policy intervention.
“There is also lack of institutional and legal framework for the management of internally displaced population in Nigeria, insufficient or absence of inter-agency collaboration which mostly results in agencies working at cross purposes with duplicative activities.
“The lack of a defined strategy and appropriate national framework of cooperation among relevant agencies and institutions to design sustainable action plan for medium-long terms projects have been a huge deficit for policy makers.
“Therefore, all efforts to minimise the vicious cycle of violent conflicts and crisis arising from abject poverty and deprivation including lack of inclusive management structure based on bottom-top approach to grassroots participation that recognises peace and confidence building mechanism have just been put in place by the ministry,” he said.
Meanwhile, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong who doubles as the Chairman, Northern Governor’s Forum, added that he would continue to rally his colleagues to foster unity and deal decisively with those fomenting crisis.
Lalong promised to share copies of the book to governors for them to study and utilise the knowledge to solve violent conflicts besetting the region.
Former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, said those drumming up war do not understand the ripple effect as it would continue to affect the country’s economy because investors will run to other African countries to do business.
The Author, Ikang, who is a Director of Human Resources, Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, said his motivation to write the book stem from the dilapidated structure and high level of killings going on.
He added that internally displaced persons should be catered for and rehabilitated in order not push them into crime to survive.