By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said despite the criticism against his administration, the government has made substantial progress in the North East which is the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgents.
President Buhari has also assured aide workers who are rendering help to the displaced people in the zone of a better security arrangement.
The President stated this when he received the International President of the Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Dr Christos Christou, and other members of his entourage at Presidential Villa, Abuja.
In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, Buhari the sacrifices of Doctors Without Borders in conflict areas in Nigeria are not in vain and well appreciated.
He assured that government will ensure that it provided a secure environment for the organisation, saying “we are grateful to you. We will secure the environment in order for you to do your job. You are not doing it for profit. We remain very appreciative.”
According to him, the sacrifices, as individuals and as a group, were quite enormous, particularly on non-profit basis.
Commenting specifically on the situation in the North-east, President Buhari said despite criticisms, the government had made substantial progress.
He said, “We know the pathetic situation of children not knowing where their parents are, or the communities they come from, and that was why we established the new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. This is to harness and channel resources to such deprived people.”
The President promised that respite and succour would come to all the troubled areas, adding that many prominent and well-to-do organizations were also involved, along with international agencies.
Dr Christou said Doctors Without Borders have been active in Nigeria since 1996, and is an international, independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare.
The organization works in 10 states across the country, and adheres strictly to principles of independence, impartiality and neutrality, among others. Its budget for year 2020 is N17.7 billion, with 90 per cent of its 3,000 staff being Nigerians.