An expert has revealed how the advent of Boko Haram insurgency has crippled business activities in Yobe State, north west Nigeria. “Non-indigenes in Yobe who constituted the (majority) in the commercial and trading activities ..were forced to flee. ..evidence abound ..in Damaturu,Potiskum and Gashua where gaps were created.In most cases , the important goods required in towns have to be booked in advance ,because (they) have to be sent in from either Kano,Kaduna,Lagos or Onitsha.This is because the Ibo traders that mostly sell these commodities have relocated to their places of origin or a more peaceful environment”. This was part of the gripping disclosures made by Raji Rafiu Boye,a lecturer at the Department of Political Science,Yobe State University,Damaturu.
He revealed this at a workshop organized by Kano- based Centre for Information Technolgy and Development Centre,CITAD in Abuja.Boye submitted a report titled:Human Rights Abuse In the Context of Insurgency:A Study of Selected Incidents of Insurgence Killings in Yobe State”.
The picture he painted of the near collapse of the banking sector is even more worrying.According to Boye “In the banking sector,because of the perennial attacks experienced by the generality of the dwellers in Yobe state including staff of banks, and attacks on banking installations including looting of cash in the banks whenever there (were) attacks in the towns..most of the bankers requested for transfers to other states that are more peaceful ..He added that “filling the space created by mass exodus of these bankers was not easy for majority of the banks.Secondly,the unceasing attacks and (their)effects have led to shorter banking hours in Yobe state,hence the banks now operate for four hours (9.00am to 1.00pm)
The lecturer further said “There are issues of non functioning of banks in the local governments of the state.Initially apart from Potiskum and Damaturu local government areas ,most of the remaining LG headquarters have one bank-either First Bank ,United Bank for Africa,Union Bank etc.Most of these banks in the local governments have been vandalized and looted by Boko Haram insurgents and other miscreants.And those that that were not attacked have been closed, fearing that they may be attacked at any time”
“Hence at the end of the month ,majority of the civil servants troop out to Damaturu ,and even up to Maiduguri and Azare in order to withdraw their salaries.So many workers at different times lose their pay to armed robbers who usually target this period to rob many road users” he said.Also ,he said small scale business ostensibly of the innocent local people have been affected by the insurgency.
Among those at the workshop were Professor Kyari Mohammed ,vice chancellor ,Modibbo Adamawa University, ,Abubakar Yahaya of University of Maiduri and Dr Emmanuel Ande Ivorgba ,Muttaqa Yushau ,Adam Akali,Fatima Ibrahim and Nura Iro Maaji who also presented well researched reports as well. Dr Moses Aluaigba ,of Bayero University Kano was lead reviewer during the event .
Also present were Dr Jibrin Ibrahim, ex director ,Centre for Democracy and Devlopment,CDD,YZ Yau of CITAD Eqy Anazonwu of WRAPA as well as Danlami Nmodu,publisher,Newsdiaryonline.com among others who all participated actively during the discussion sessions.
Boko Haram attacks have in the main been in the north eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa with the first two facing attacks with more intensity.A state of emergency has been imposed on the three states by President Goodluck Jonathan.