Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd), said yesterday that though the Boko Haram insurgency was on the verge of being nipped in the bud, effects of the magnitude of the human, economic and ecological problems created by it would remain with the North East for a long time.
General Abubakar made the observation in Yola at a two day conference organized by Modibbo Adama University of Technology, MAUTECH, the Nigerian Army and the Chad Basin Commission, with the theme, Peace Building and Reconstruction in the Chad Basin, attended by representatives from Chad, Niger Republic, Cameroun, Nigeria.
General Abubakar, who gave the keynote address, said the forum should draw attention to the fight against insurgency.
He said all that was required was to help the communities and the economy to place the region on an irreversible path of economic growth and recovery.
Terror, according to General Abdulsalami is an enemy that has been globally difficult to fight and the experience has not been different.
“The imperatives of rebuilding social institutions economic infrastructures and livelihood of displaced and settled citizens are the benchmarks we need to judge the success of the war against terror in our region,” he stated.
Giving a breakdown, he said figures as at November 2015 showed that there were 2,256,201 IDPs in Nigeria, 158,316 in Cameroun, 66,639 in Chad and 47,023 in Niger.
He also gave frightening figures that as many as 952,029 children of school age were currently displaced among tens of thousands of orphans, and losses amounting to $5.9 billion or N1.8 trillion.
In his speech, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, described the conference as a significant fight against Boko Haram.
According to the Chief of Army Staff, it was the strategic platform that made the Army achieved what has been achieved so far.
He commended the other sister agencies which had made it possible to degrade the capacity of the insurgents.
He particularly commended the Ambassador of Switzerland for his country’s interest in the fight against insurgency.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola. Prof. Kyari Mohammed, said the major concern of the conference was basically recovery, peace building, social cohesion and sustainable, long-term development of the North-East in the post Boko Haram insurgency period.