The Boko Haram insurgency is a man-made disaster which has bedevilled the North-Eastern part of Nigeria within the last six (6) years. The group’s persistent murderous attacks have led to the destructions of lives and property in Borno State worth billions of Naira. After its first uprising in 2009 which was suppressed by the Nigerian armed forces, a year later in 2010, Boko Haram regrouped and rearmed itself and launched a massive onslaught in the northeast of Nigeria.
The group’s persistent attack on communities in the state has led to serious socio-economic setbacks thereby creating a situation which exceeded the State’s coping capacity. Apart from the loss of property, over a million people were displaced from their communities (Towns/Villages) and are now camped in over twelve (12) different locations within Maiduguri and other nearby States as well as neighboring Countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The emergence of the sect in Nigeria has been attributed to abject poverty, unemployment, social inequalities and high level of illiteracy amongst others, which have combined to fuel religious based violence.
The challenges before the Nigerian nation in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency therefore, is about removing the north’s infrastructural deficits and ending its peoples’ abject and dehumanizing poverty. Despite the lean financial resources of the Borno State Government, within the last 4 years, it has reconstructed many communities such as Bama, Mafa, Konduga, Kawuri, Benisheik, Mainok, Ngala, Jakana among others. Unfortunately, the communities were again destroyed by the insurgents. The efforts of the present Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Military to bring back normalcy to the State are now yielding positive result, however, the Government and people of Borno State are confident that the December dateline to end the Boko Haram insurgency is achievable.
In its effort to address the foregoing challenges, the Borno State Government has created a new Ministry for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement on the 16th September, 2015 as a post-disaster phase of its response strategy. The Ministry has since started the reconstruction work in some affected communities with a view to rehabilitating and resettling the displaced persons. However, the extent of the damage is very enormous; therefore, there is the need for well-meaning personalities, organizations and Donor agencies around the globe to contribute towards the initiatives of the Borno State Government in rebuilding the State.
In less than two months of its creation, the ministry has already recorded huge success in reconstruction of some public structures and facilities in Benisheikh, the headquarters of Kaga local government area. Currently, the ministry has embarked on the rehabilitation of the Market, General Hospital, Schools, Police Station, local government secretariat, upper area court complex and the 20 housing units. Some of these projects are now in their advance stages of completion and some are already completed awaiting commissioning.
Borno State is an agrarian community and farming activities were hampered within the last 6 years. In addition, all commercial activities were completely paralyzed. The growing number of youth unemployment was one of the reasons for the insurgency. Hence, the Ministry is planning to train the vulnerable youth groups by adopting a Technical and Vocational training packages to the displaced youths. Almost all the investigations carried out on the root cause of the Boko Haram insurgency by the Federal/ State government and other Non-governmental bodies within and outside the country have identified the un-employment as one of the root causes of the problem. Therefore, the Borno State Government has mandated the ministry to pay attention to the vocational and skill development in its programmes. To this end, the State government is soliciting the support of Governmental and Non-Governmental organizations in meeting its objectives of providing shelter, food, employment opportunities and resettling the displaced persons back to their communities.