The Federal Government has said inadequate emergency preparedness, response and policy intervention are reasons why the country appears to be struggling in tackling banditry and other security challenges.
George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the formal launch of a 352-page book titled: ‘A Planner’s Perspective on Disaster and Conflict; Issues of Forced Displacement of Persons, Management in Nigeria’, authored by Bassey Ita Etim-Ikang, a director in the ministry.
According to Akume, a former governor of Benue State, banditry and other challenges cannot be overcome without the participation of all Nigerians.
He emphasized that everyone must be involved in finding a lasting solution to the challenge.
“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,” Akume said.
The Author, Ikang, a director of Human Resources in the ministry, said his motivation to write the book stemmed from the dilapidated structure and rising cases of killings and insecurity ravaging the country.
“The Book will impact greatly on humanitarian state and non-state actors, policy makers, the academia, the students, most especially the students in conflict management will find the book a tool in their hands. I believe that the agencies that are saddled with management of disaster and conflict will be the great beneficiary of this book,” he said.
He noted that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) should be catered for and rehabilitated in order not push them into crime, which they may see as the only means of survival and which may in turn worsen the situation in the country.
The chief launcher and Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, assured that he will continue to rally his colleagues to foster unity and deal decisively with those fomenting crises in the north and across the country.
Lalong, who is also the chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF), promised to share copies of the book to governors for them to study and utilise the knowledge to tackle violent conflicts in the region.