The Federal Government says it is committed to partnering key stakeholders, including United States Institute of Peace in designing effective and durable strategies for a peaceful and secured North-East.
Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), stated this on Monday in Abuja, at the opening of “Roundtable on Transition from an Environment Dominated by Military Operations to Post-Conflict Civilian-Led Governance in North-East and Lake-Chad Basin’’.
The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with United States Institute of Peace and Centre for Democracy and Development.
The minister said the roundtable came on the heels of a diligent research supported by the USIP and conducted by two eminent Nigerian scholars.
He noted that the security situation in the country, especially the North-East, had attracted much attention due to the devastating impact of the insurgency perpetrated by Boko Haram.
He said: “As the situation is brought under control as a result of the stabilisation efforts of the military, the task of putting in place a framework for smooth military-to-civilian transition becomes a key imperative for the Federal Government.
“The Ministry of Interior is committed to partnering key stakeholders like USIP in designing effective and durable strategies for implementation of the administration’s vision of a peaceful, secured and stable environment in the North-East.’’
Dambazau said that the successful conduct of the 2019 elections in Nigeria and the North-East in particular was a testimony to the efforts by the Nigeria’s government toward making the region and country a peaceful place for all.
He said: “The pursuit of peace, security and sustainable development can only be achieved through renewed vigour, which the government has demonstrated by the recent inauguration of the North-East Development Commission.
“The NEDC is expected to coordinate all efforts –reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction – in the region.’’
Dambazau stated that the government recognised that post-conflict peace building was complex and a difficult task that required demonstrable commitment from all institutions of government and their partners.
He said: “As a government, our commitment towards the actualization of durable peace, security, stability and development is very strong and unwavering.
“We have invested so much and remain very hopeful about prospects for the future.
“In the ministry of interior, we refer to this process of transition as `Winning the Peace’ following the efforts of the military in winning the war against insurgency.’’
The minister noted that the Federal Government had successfully pushed out the insurgents from 17 local governments it occupied before May, 2015.
He, however, said that there were still threats of insurgency and terrorism, especially within the Lake Chad region occupied by Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
He said: “It is within the environment that we must also be engaged in the management of Internally Displaced Persons and refugees and ensure the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure.’’
He said that efforts must be made in rebuilding education, health and agricultural facilities, recognising communities and re-establishing civil authority for good governance.
The minister noted that the country was no longer dealing with Boko Haram, but with extended activities of ISIS through Islamic State of West Africa Province, its affiliate.