By Bukar Bolori
An association of Cattle breeder, Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers’ Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) has alleged that the North East Development Commission (NEDC) has failed to address the wholesome rehabilitation of the entire troubled North East region that has witnessed massive destruction for about 12 years from Boko Haram terrorist group.
The association in a statement on Friday, claimed that the development commission has treated the pastoralists, perhaps the singular group of people, that suffered more in the hands of Boko Haram as if they were never part of those mandated to be considered in the federal government’s rehabilitation plan of the region.
They also alleged that the commission has strategically spent disputed billions of Naira in big towns in the troubled region to attract publicity in the media while the villages mostly affected by the destruction by insurgents are left untouched.
A statement signed by the National President of the association, Hon. Khalil Bello said: “If there is any developmental commission recently established by the Federal Government with good intention and well-funded with billions of naira with the strong believe that the commission will live up to expectation or even beyond by fully incorporating or including all the people of the region regardless of their tribe, religion, occupation, socialization, political inclination etc, is that of North East Development Commission which was highly applauded and orchestrated by all people of the said devastated geopolitical zone.”
He however said the hope of most people in the region on NEDC providing succour has been dashed as the “the hope that it will concentrate with rehabilitation, reconstruction and general empowerment of the entire people of the area under reference without been self-centered or bias by giving more attention and concern to cities in its implementation of its policies and programmes if any because up to now we are yet to see any reasonable project executed by the commission in the name of developing the North East.”
The association lamented that “sadly and painfully the members of the commission were neither mindful of the type of occupation run by the people of the North East nor ready to thoroughly and holistically assess the types of loses incurred by the people as the result of the activities of insurgent in the region,” as pastoral occupation was yet to be assisted by the commission even with the massive lost due to insurgency.
The statement claimed that the (North East herders)are the most endangered species in the region who heavily suffered more loses as a result of the activities of Boko Haram and insurgent due to the nature of their pastoral occupation which can only be practiced in the forest or most remoted area were the Boko Haram have lived permanently.
KACRAN alleged that “the Northeast Development Commission has continued to sideline or totally excluded herders among the beneficiaries of its programme which were centred in the cities such as Maiduguri metropolitan council where they will easily or cheaply attract exaggerated coverage at the refugees camps to deceived the people of Abuja that the commission is performing excellently, after all there is nothing on ground to see and compared to the billions of naira collected by the commission in the name of developing the highly devastated region.”
The association alleged that. “Probably the Federal Government when drawing the mandate of the commission didn’t clearly state in an unmistakable terms that all victims of Boko Haram and insurgency activities must be included, assisted and empowered by the commission.”