By Naomi Sharang
A member of National Assembly, Sen. Ali Ndume, has urged the Federal Government to concentrate on intelligence-gathering in its effort to win the fight against insurgency in the country.
Ndume, who represents Borno South Senatorial District at the Senate, made the call when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
He suggested that security agencies should collaborate with various communities in troubled areas to gather intelligence on where explosive devices used for suicide bombing were manufactured.
“Everybody in Borno knows that the major black spot of Boko Haram is Sambisa and the Lake Chad Basin fringes.’’
Ndume expressed dismay that many people still did not understand what people in the North-East were passing through with regards to the humanitarian crisis.
“Many people are under-rating and under-estimating the humanitarian crisis in the North-East. People don’t know and are under-estimating the level of destruction to infrastructure, to ecosystem and to the people.
“There are many children out of school in Borno for nine years that were not able to go to school. Many children don’t know where their parents are.
“The institution of government is not working; so, since I’m here to represent my people I should just keep quiet and concentrate,” he said.
The lawmaker, however, said that the action of government in the fight against insurgency was commendable, adding “but we are not there yet”.
“We, as citizens, are expecting peace that we know to be back,” he said.
On the grants given to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Ndume said, “I am on the financial tracking system of the US.
“The international development partners have contributed 740 million dollars; if you convert that to naira it translates to N280 billion or more.
“Out of the 740 million dollars, they spent close to 80 percent on overhead and it is only 20 per cent that went to the people.”
He, however, decried existing situation where there was no synergy between the 75 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the state.
“It is not that they are not doing anything at all, but when you look at the money, 740 million dollars, if you decide to give the displaced persons conditional cash transfer, they would have settled themselves.”
He commended the World Food Programme, saying it was visible when compared with others.