Oladotun Roy

The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) in partnership with Ford Foundation has organised a one day national programme on “Developing A Sustainable Humanitarian Response Mechanism For Nigeria”. The programme which took place at Ya’ardua Centre in Abuja today, Tuesday 2 December, 2014 was aimed at creating a platform for forum among the civil society organisations, NGOs, CBOs and other relevant stakeholders in Disaster Management toward achieving a sustainable humanitarian response mechanism for Nigeria.

The MMF is a non-profit organisation, founded on the ideals of the Late Gen. Murtala Muhammed, a former Head of State of Nigeria (1975-76). The MMF has long been recognised as a pioneer of democracy, policy advocacy, education, human rights, women empowerment, disaster relief and betterment of lives of Africans.

The Ford Foundation, on the other hand, supports visionary leaders and organisations on the frontlines of social change worldwide with its major goals to strengthen democratic values; reduce poverty and injustice; promote international cooperation and advance human achievement.

According to Aisha Muhammed Oyebode, daughter of Late Gen. Murtala Muhammed, who is also the CEO of MMF she said, the primary objective of the MMF is creating a platform for its core issues and providing a voice to Nigeria’s’people.

The objectives the forum tends to achieve is to address the upliftment of the humanitarian situation in the country. It is also to provide a platform for the evolution of a robust framework where pertinent issues bordering on fianancing humanitarian actions, building a sustainable coordination mechanism, information management and ultimately adopting a roadmap for implementation would be resolved.

Prof Soji Adelaja, Special Adviser, Office of the National Security Adviser doubles as Chairperson for Presidential Initiative for the Northeast (PINE) while making his presentation spoke on the importance of the forum basically for us as concerned Nigerians to come together to develop modalities and framework for a sustainable humanitarian response mechanism for Nigeria.

He further stated that Nigeria has witnessed incessant insurgency driven crisis which were characterised with loss of lives, loss of jobs and means of livelihood, lack of access to quality healthcare facilities and education, epidemic and many more. All these identified aftermath of insurgency need short and long term intervention to resolve them. ‘Currently, what we need in Nigeria is sustainable solution such as early warning systems help; preparedness for intervention; effective plans or framework for intervention; High level cooperation among others, although there are few solutions on ground but we need to work towards improved solutions for humanitarian response mechanism in Nigeria’, he added.

Director General, National Emergence Management Agency (NEMA) Dr Zanna gave analysis on the way forward and how to improve on the structure on ground on disaster management in the country. He enumerated the challenges the organisation like NEMA is confronting with particularly as it concerns the effective response and cooperation of the Nigerian society when it comes to managing disaster. ‘We all need to work together for better and improved results’ he said.

Dr Femi Olugbile, who titled his paper ‘Synchronising Disaster Response: Framing the Approach’ analysed ways to engender sustainable humanitarian response mechanism in Nigeria. He said since African societies are disaster prone society, measures are to be put in place for immediate intervention for any sort unforseen disaster be it natural or man made, using 2014 EMAB Plaza Bomb blast in Abuja as a perfect example.

He briefly shared his thoughts on Disaster Management Act that was proposed by Murtala Mohammed Foundation since 2007, which is yet to be approved by the Federal Government. How useful such act could be at the period of frequent insurgents attacks in the Northern part of the country.

During the Break-out sessions, participants were charged to discuss, debliberate and finally make presentations on four topics, two of which were information Management and First Response and Roadmap for its implementation.

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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