Monday, May 16, 2016

Aisha Buhari and the North East Development Commission

Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, the Wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has shown passionate support for the bill for creation of the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

Aisha’s unique interest in the NEDC Bill has aroused few questions: is Aisha’s exceptional interest in the creation of the commission because she is from the region? Is it politics or mere show off that she cares? Is it because she is the wife of a President who is very loved and cherished in the North East; thus, she has to show commitment to the cause of the people having been ravaged by the Boko Haram War?

People who know Aisha can certainly attest to her passion for the welfare of women and children- especially those that have been ravaged by the Boko Haram crisis. So, she will fully support the creation of a commission that will provide comprehensive and feasible post-war programmes and projects to restore communities to their pre-war peaceful and productive status. Most people believe that, the Wife of the President support the creation of the commission because peace is gradually returning to most of these areas and the government of Nigeria is planning on how to smoothly return internally displace persons (IDPs) to liberated areas.

The role of such commission will be critical in sustaining the fragile peace and long-term stability, as well as provide a well-planned guide and procedure in the design of projects and programmes for communities’ protection and avoiding future conflicts in these communities.

Mrs. Buhari, a Master’s Degree holder in International Affairs and Strategic Studies and granddaughter of Alhaji Mohammed Ribadu, Nigeria’s first Minister of Defence, she definitely knows that restoring communities in the North East to their pre-war peaceful and productive status cannot be successful without putting in place a structured commission to coordinate programmes and projects. Furthermore, programmes and projects for the Northeast need to be carefully-designed in such a way that there is a strong synergy between affected states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe including Bauchi, Taraba and the federal government of Nigeria, while also involving donor agencies and NGOs in the areas of funding, monitoring and evaluation.

At the First Public hearing of the bill, Aisha said “I believe that for rapid development to come to the region, a concerted and organized effort must be made”. Most people in the northeast agree with Mrs Buhari, because the military is winning the war, the ideal step to take next is the application of soft approach to winning wars- programmes and projects to tackle the original factors that facilitated the growth of Boko Haram and helped the group in its recruitments and indoctrinations i.e. abject poverty, illiteracy and the absence of employment opportunities in these states.

The North East Development Commission Bill seeks to empower the commission to “receive and manage funds from the allocation from the federation account and international donors for the settlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, houses, and business premises of victims of insurgency; and for other matters connected there with”.

Mothers will definitely support the creation of such commissions, not only for the North East, but anywhere in Nigeria when the need arises. With such unalloyed support shown for the creation of the commission by Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, the people of the northeast will be happy and hopeful, that the bill will sail through and the commission will be made up of not only the right people but people with a passion for the rehabilitation of the war-ravaged northeast. 

Since, the mother of the nation has accorded her 100% support, when the commission is finally created, its management it will for sure strive for a collective and transparent approach, efficiency, and effectively utilize opportunity to easily mobilize substantial amount of funds for the commission. After all, Aisha’s philosophy is: If there is no corruption in governance and public life, there would be enough resources in any nation to meet the important needs of the common people, including women and youths.

Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State,, 08036070980.

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