As internally displaced persons continue to return to their various communities following gallantry efforts of the Nigerian Military against Boko Haram terrorists, the North East Development Commission ( NEDC ) has begun sensitisation of citizens against unexploded remnants of insurgency.
Speaking on Tuesday at the venue of the programme in Maiduguri, the Managing Director NEDC, Mohammed Alkali, said the sensitisation workshop organised for community leaders from 65 local government areas of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states aims to provide landmine and unexploded ordnance ( UXO ) awareness education to local inhabitants and populations of the affected areas.
”The 1,300 participants and volunteers are drawn from all the 65 local government areas of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, and the Governor and other stakeholders have been working to ensure that people return back home. But the issue is that after any war, it is not about going back home, but how one goes back successfully and settle down.
”And one of that thing that people must take care of after any war is demining of the area because Mining and use of other explosives are crudeness of war and it is being used in most war. Since this insurgency, we are aware that there are a lot of undermined explosive ordinances around.
”So when we send people back, we want to assure them that they will go back peacefully. And one of the things we are doing now is to get experts to educate people on how to detect or how to handle those unexploded ordinances or landmines so that as they are going back, we won’t have casualties of lives,” Alkali said.
The NEDC Boss said that is why the commission has selected experts to train people, adding that they have done a good job by selecting those who are capable of understanding what is being taught, who would go back and teach other people in all the local government areas of the three states worst hit by Boko Haram terrorists.
Also speaking, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Umar, the Chief Executive Officer MAKE SAFE Humanitarian Safty Services Ltd, said the three-day training is a response due to threat posed by the population of war-affected areas of Northeast of unexploded and other explosive remnants of war.
He said it came as a result of the over 11-year insurgency, as well as the counterterrorism operations of the armed forces.
”So essentially, the objective of the programme is to ensure that the participants observe proper safety procedures and take appropriate action in the event of incidences involving landmines or unexploded ordinances.
”So we are educating people who will be my risk educators, who will go back to their individual local governments and take the Mine risk education programme to their local governments,” AVM Umar said