Saraki advocates creation of North-East Development Commission, donates N10m to IDPs

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami
Saraki at one of the IDP camps

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said that the Senate will support the country’s troops in the fight against the Boko Haram sect.

The Senate President assured the people of the North-East of the country that the Eight Senate would do all in its power to ensure that peace is restored to the zone.

Saraki said this in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Monday, when he led a delegation of the Senate on an assessment of the security situation in the state.

According to a statement published on his official Facebook page, Saraki said the visit was a demonstration of the commitment of the upper legislative chamber to find a lasting solution to the plight of the people in the North-East.

According to the statement, Saraki also donated N10m to Internally Displaced Persons in the state.

Saraki and other senators were received by the Governor of Borno State, Kassim Shettima.

The delegation also visited the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar El-Khanemi, and the IDP camps located at the Umaru Shehu College of Education and the Government College, Maiduguri, which has over 4000 displaced persons each.

Those that accompanied Saraki were the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume; Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena, Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Senator Hassan Mohammed, Senator Abubakar Kyari and the Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Senator Isa Galaudu.

The Senate President said, “We have come to feel your pains, to hear what you have been going through. We are here to understand the bloody struggle you have had to endure and go through emotionally, physically, financially and in many other ways which can hardly be put in words.

“We have come to sit with you and listen to you, and hopefully work out solutions that would significantly change your situation for the better. We believe that after this visit, your situation will not be the same again.

“The National Assembly is willing to support you and your families to ensure that your lives return to normal. We could not in good conscience talk to you from Abuja. No. This new senate would rather come here and this is why we are here.”

While welcoming the Senate President and his team, Governor Shettima described the visit as historic and unprecedented.

He urged the National Assembly to pass a bill that would lead to the creation of the North-East Development Commission to handle the issue of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs and provide employment for the youths as was done in the Niger Delta.

He said, “I would like to express my sincere and profound welcome to the Senate President and our respected and distinguished senators on this official visit to Borno State, which is the first of its kind by any Senate President since the return to civilian rule in 1999.

“This is a clear manifestation of your concern for the plight of the people of the North-East region and Borno State in particular.

“The people of Borno State view this day and this visit as significant. I have no doubt in my mind about the seriousness of this administration to putting a permanent end to this senseless bloodletting and madness of a few misguided elements, who hide under the canopy of Islam to perpetuate this heinous crime against innocent and defenceless citizens.

“The actions of these criminals are completely at variance with the tenets of Islam. Borno has seen the worst of this insurgency and the problem is still rearing its head with its attendant bloodletting and carnage.

“The measures so far taken by this administration have rekindled our hope for a better and more secured future. We hope your coming to see the IDPs will translate into a more robust legislative action that will bring about safety, security and succour to our people.”

Saraki reiterated the lawmakers commitment to suppoting President, Muhammadu Buhari, “whose commitment to ending these senseless killings gives us a greater belief that together we will win the war.”

He said the 8th Senate has made the security and welfare of the North-East people a priority, saying, “We are very conscious of the level of carnage and destruction that has been done against the people here.”

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