Musdapha Ilo, Damaturu
A senator, Ahmed Lawan, representing Yobe north, has demanded compensation for victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east states where an emergency rule was declared in May.
The states are Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
Speaking with journalists in Damaturu, Lawan said President Goodluck Jonathan’s stance that victims of Boko Haram attacks will not be compensated but only assisted portends even more danger for the region, as the victims could become recruits of the terrorist group out of frustration.
Apart from that, the senator said that the affected states have spent so much monies which could have otherwise been used for development to cushion the effect of the devastation for victims and that is was only appropriate for the federal government to reimburse the states for the expended sums and also provide compensation for those affected.
For instance, Lawan who is the chairman, senate committee on public accounts, said Yobe State has committed over N7 billion in efforts at ending the insurgency and wondered how it can measure up in development with other states if this sum is not refunded.
“I wonder who could be advising Mr. president not to compensate the victims and the affected persons who suffered severe losses as a result of the Boko Haram attack. Let me state categorically that the three states under emergency rule need compensation because of the huge financial burden this insurgents have caused their various states,” he said.
“Yobe and Borno most especially deserve serious compensation because they are worst hit,” he stressed.
The lawmaker noted that “more lives were lost during the emergency rule and more schools were attacked during the period than when the emergency rule was not imposed”
He also faulted the operations of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution on Security Challenges in the North, arguing that it was operated as a parastatal under the presidency and lacks credibility in the sight of the insurgents.
Lawan urged the federal government to take a cue from countries like the US, Colombia, Philippines and Pakistan among others, which he noted were able to overcome their internal conflicts through dialogue.