The Director International Press Centre, IPC, Lagos, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, has said Boko Haram is a Frankenstein monster that was created as a result of the nonchalant attitude of erstwhile Nigerian governments to the education of youths in the northern part of the country.
He added that that the terrorist group is not a recent creation but an entity that gradually snowballed to what it is now.
According to him, members of the Boko Haram terrorist group were ostensibly almajiris, who were at a time in their lives deprived of western education and have now grown up to fight the system that deprived them of those rights.
He spoke Tuesday at a two-day training workshop for journalists on Disaster Communication, Accountability in Disaster Management and Conflict, organised by the Human Security in Conflict & Emergency Theme, ActionAid Nigeria and the International Press Centre in Lagos, IPC.
The workshop, which held at the conference hall of the IPC ended today.
Mr Arogundade also highlighted the role of the media in disaster management and declared that the training could not have come at a better time than now when Nigeria is passing through a lot of security and disaster-related challenges.
On his part, Mr Gbenro Olajuyigbe, ActionAid Nigeria’s Human Security Manager bemoaned the attitude of government as well as Nigerians to disasters and conflicts in Nigeria.
He said while there is no proper accountability in emergency response in Nigeria, government officials see response to disasters as charitable ventures and not as their primary responsibility to the people.
He also said those officials regard response to emergency as avenues to get rich quick.
“The welfare, security and safety of the people as citizens are the primary responsibilities of government.
Irrespective of the frontier of threats, hazards and the actual occurrence of disasters, the state has a duty to respond in a way that assures citizens and residents of their continued welfare, security and safety,” he said.
Olajuyigbe also disclosed that in 2012 alone, natural disasters took the lives of nearly 200,000 people, affected more than 300 million others, and cost a record $366 billion in economic damage worldwide.
He recalled that from June 2012 Nigeria witnessed some of the most widespread incidences of catastrophic flooding in recent history, stating that the result included devastating flood disasters affecting 70% percent of the states in the country, cutting off communities and local governments from the rest of the country with major roads rendered impassable.
According to him, this was in addition to various violent security challenges and outbreaks of conflicts in various regions in the country, adding that reports and studies have clearly demonstrated that the impact of future disasters is likely to be even more devastating.
“Disasters are expected to become more frequent in the future and to take a greater toll due to climate change, a growing world population, and more people settling in hazard-prone areas,” he said.
Olajuyigbe said since Emergency Preparedness/Disaster risk reduction are multifaceted and long-term works, media and women groups are central to the effort, as emphasized in the Hyogo Framework of Action.
He said ActionAid will continue to work in partnership with the media in its disaster risk reduction efforts, especially in holding the state accountable for disaster management.