Inadequate emergency preparedness, response and policy intervention are largely responsible for why the country appears to be troubled by banditry and other insecurity challenges, the Federal Government has said.
This was made known by Senator George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, in Abuja on Wednesday, 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.
Akume, who is an ex-Governor of Benue State, said banditry and other challenges cannot be overcome without the participation of all Nigerians, thus everyone must be involved in finding a lasting solution to the challenge.
His words: “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.”
In his remarks, Ikang said his motivation to write the book stem from the dilapidated structure and rising cases of killings and insecurity ravaging the country.
He said, “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.”
According to him, 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 worse the situation in the country.