The Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, on Saturday set up a special committee, headed by his deputy, Zannah Mustapha, with the task of opening a resettlement camp for all displaced victims of the Friday attack on barracks and suburbs of Maiduguri, where they would documented for easy provision of relief items, government official said. The committee will also consider other displaced villagers fled into Maiduguri after Boko Haram insurgents sacked their villages, with a view to giving them some palliatives pending when the situation would be safer for their return to their respective abodes. This was made known in a statement issued by Isa Gusau, the spokesperson of Mr. Shettima. Mr Gusau said the committee, named Special Emergency Relief Committee, has a duty to provide necessary relief to all the victims and suggested ways the victims could be assisted to return to normal life.
He said the committee, which has been given a matching order to hit the ground running, would be meeting the Deputy Governor today for further briefing on their assignment and to conclude modalities for take off.
The statement said Mr Shettima had directed all Caretaker Committees Chairmen of the 27 Local Government Areas to establish Standing Emergency Relief and Response Committees in their councils.
“In doing so, they should take cognisance of relevant stakeholders like traditional rulers, community leaders, security agencies, youth volunteers and the health department. The major responsibilities of these committees shall be to liaise and collaborate with security agencies, community leaders and other stakeholders to proactively gather and provide intelligence to relevant authorities with a view to preventing insurgent attacks, to assist in the provision of protection to communities as well as provide emergency relief in the event of any attack, which no one prays to occur, ” the statement said.
The Council chiefs are expected to forward the list of their emergency relief committees to the Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs within one week.
The Committee has members of the Borno State House of Assembly representing Maiduguri Municipal Council, MMC, Konduga and Mafa; Commissioners of Women Affairs and Social Development, Environment, Justice, Religious Affairs, Agriculture, Inter-Governmental Affairs, the Special Adviser on Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Special Adviser on Monitoring and Evaluation; Special Adviser on Women Affairs; Caretaker Chairmen of MMC, Jere, Kaga, Mafa,Bama and Konduga Local Government Areas and Senior Special Assistant, Usman Chiroma.
The committee is to be chaired by elder statesman, Bulama Mali Gubio, while the Special Adviser Research, Documentation and Strategy to the state governor, Mohammed Bulama, will serve as secretary.
Mr Shettima, who was outside Nigeria on official duties at the time of the Friday attacks, in the statement, sympathised with the families of all innocent citizens that had lost their lives. He also assured of his unflagging commitment to continue to protect lives and properties of citizens by taking every lawful step at the disposal of his government.
Mr. Gusau explained to PREMIUM TIMES that his boss absence was was due to an urgent need to seek solutions to the crisis in the state.
“The sole aim of his trip is geared toward expressing the concerns of Borno State government and people and holding discussions with international experts and concerned governments who have shown empathy and commitment in helping to address the problem in a way that it will compliment the sustained efforts of the Federal Government,” Mr. Gusau explained.
He allayed concerns from some critical quarters that Governor Shettima’s absence did not augur well for the state.
“Governor Shettima has his deputy, Zannah Umar Mustapha on ground; and the governor is very sure that (his deputy) is competently in charge of the state and he is fully authorised to remain in control of affairs as required by their joint mandate,” Mr. Gusau said.
Mr. Shettima, who returns next week, strongly commended the security agencies and youth volunteers for their patriotism, sacrifices, resilience and devoted commitment.