Insurgency: It will cost N9.2trn to rehabilitate North East zone- Ndume
Immediate past Senate Leader, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) has revealed that it will cost N9.2 trillion to rehabilitate the North East geopolitical zone ravaged by insurgency.
The senator who expressed worry that his homestate of Borno is the most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Addressing Journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, Ndume who is also contesting for the position of Senate President in the Ninth Assembly, described his state as a failed state.
According to him, the zone would need someone like him to be the Next Senate President in order to bring back the state to where things will work, adding that at the moment, there is no telephone, no light, no functional schools in his local government.
He also insisted that he would not step down for Ahmad Lawan, the endorsed candidate for the position of Senate President.
He said: “The insurgency has inflicted N9.2 trillion destruction on the North East. And you need somebody who knows where it pinches. We in Borno are in the epicenter of the Book Haram destruction. So it is not like what you will get from the Office of the Senate President but what you can do with it. If you are the Senate President in this country, you will be able to globetrot around, tell people how the problem is becauseb you are in the heart of the problem. You know how it is.
“So, if this opportunity is given to us, we have three critical issues in Borno particularly and and the North East in general.
“One is the issue of recharging of Lake Chad, which should be taken globally by somebody that knows it, somebody that can explain better to the people. Two, the issue of insurgence as I said, had inflicted a N2.7 trillion damage on us. If we are to go by monthly federal allocation and the budget of the state, it will take us ages.
“Right now, you can rightly say that Borno is a failed state. And the only way to bring it back is to have a way. And part of it is because I know and my passion for it because it affects me directly. Right now as I am speaking to you, I cannot comfortably drive to my local government. It has no light now because it is no connected. It has no telephone because the insurgents have destroyed the equipment. The ecosystem is destroyed, our schools are closed.
“Secondly, I have been in this place for quite a while. The Senate was intended to be a stabilizing institution in the polity. When we came in, the senators were not doing much. I was inbtge House of Representatives then, we provided the advice and they took less of things like motions and all that. And they were going the senatorial job. Gradually, this is drifting. And we have gotten to a point now where from outside, a Senate President will be imposed on senators.
“I am glad that the party after doing that announcement, realised that it was wrong and unconstitutional. Even the party supremacy that they are talking about, in Article Two of the APC Constitution, it says that subject to the provision of the constitution, the APC will provide services to the government. And Section 50 of the Constitution is very clear about emergence of the leadership.
“Besides, in all the emergence of candidates of APC, there is no provision for imposition. The President emerged through a democratic process. And the election was open, it was zoned in line with the Constitution. Even then, Rochas Okorocha contested and he was not disciplined. Buhari contested with Atiku, Kwankwanso and the others.”
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja