Dear members of the press. We welcome you to this press conference. We have chosen to address you to today on the effort to address the plight of victims of Boko Haram insurgency and other violent activities in the country. Since the last five years, millions of Nigerians have come under different attacks from the activities of insurgents such as bombings, gun attacks and other similar acts of terror. While many have died, thousand have been rendered disabled from various injuries. Similarly thousands of children have been orphaned and rendered homeless. Many are living in camps for internally displaced persons who no parents to care for them, these people are needing urgent care from the society to help them be rehabilitated.
It is in this connection that we welcome the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari`s to the Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi to immediately facilitate the release of Five Billion Naira to the Victims Support Fund (VSF). The directive has further demonstrated the commitment of his administration to not only defeat terrorism in the country but also restore the meaningful life of the victims of the insurgency. About 2 million Nigerians have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the insurgent activities in Northeast, and majority of them are living in the formal and informal IDPs camps around the country.
While reiterating our confidence on the members of VSF under the chairmanship of Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, we call on the Federal Government to put in place more mechanisms for the prudent and accountable usage of the fund. This will no doubt ensure transparency and proper management of the fund, and also allow for its independent tracking.
It will be recalled that, in July, 2014 the Nigerian Government has constituted a Committee on Victims Support Fund to mobilize resources and administer appropriate support to victims of insurgency and Boko Haram terror activities all over the country. In executing its mandate, the committee organized a fundraising dinner in the month of August, 2015. It was at that dinner the Federal government, then under Goodluck Jonathan pledged the sum of 5 billion naira to the committee but failed to honour the pledge before leaving office on 29 May, 2015.
Finally, we call on the wealthy Nigerians, private organizations and international organizations to support the cause of the VSF committee as it became obvious that such victims are seriously in need of the humanitarian support.
On our party as civil society, we are committed to the tracking of the use of the fund not only to ensure accountability but also to make sure that it gets to those it should reach as well as produce the desired result and impact in the society.
- Kabiru Sa`idu Dakata, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Kano
- Mohammed G. Wuyo, Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP), Borno
- Enoch Raymond, Centre for Environmental Education and Development (CEED), Taraba
- Rebecca Hassan, Association of People Living with Disability, Gombe
- Aishatu Margima, Women and Youth Empowerment for Advancement and Health Initiative (WYEAHI), Adamawa
- Isah Garba, Bauchi Coalition for Improvement of Public Expenditure Management (BACIPEM), Bauchi
- Halimatu Laminu, Network of Civil Society Organizations, Yobe
- Dauda Mohammad, Northeast Youth Initiative Forum(NEYIF),
- Shehu Usman Salihu, North West University Students for Peace (NWS4P)
- Abdullganiyu Y Rufai, CITAD4Peace