Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq has inaugurated the National Humanitarian Mine Action Committee to save citizens in the Northeast Region of the country from the threat of explosive ordnances.
Farouq, during the inauguration in Abuja said when an armed conflict is over, the battlefields are often littered with explosive debris.
According to her, much of this debris is still dangerous, in particular stocks of weapons left behind by combatants and explosive munitions that were fired but failed to go off as intended.
“As seen in other parts of the world, long after conflicts have ended, explosive ordnance could continue to kill, injure and impact the daily life of affected communities.
“For a safe return of our IDPs, refugees in the north east, as well as for farming activities to resume, agricultural lands must be surveyed for explosive contamination, and farmers provided with Explosive Ordnance Risk Education.
“It is for this reason, that President Muhammadu Buhari, during the commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day 2022, directed my Ministry to come up with a solution to the threat of explosive ordnance.
“It is therefore, in compliance with that Presidential Directive, to save our citizens in the north east from the threat of explosive ordnances, that I am today inaugurating the National Humanitarian Mine Action Committee.
“It is expected that this Committee will eventually transform into National Mine Action Centre that will develop national capacity for Humanitarian Mine Action,” Farouq said.
The Minister charged the committee members to commit themselves to the assignment as their commitment would not only save lives but also enable Nigeria to fulfill its obligations under international treaties that require the country to assist victims of explosive ordnance.
“To our partners, donors, UN agencies, and diplomatic representations, I urge you all to support the work of this Committee as Nigeria moves towards building national capacity in Humanitarian Mine Action”.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Group Capt. Sadiq Garba Shehu (Rtd) appreciated the Minister, for given him and his members the opportunity to serve the country.
“On behalf of the Committee, I want to thank you for the confidence response on us and to assure you that we will work assiduously to see that the directive given to you by Mr President is achieved”.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that Farouq also inaugurated Ambassador for Peace and Safety which comprise of victims of explosives in the northeast region of the country.(NAN)