By Daji Sani in Yola with agency report

The reconstruction of schools and police stations destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast has started in earnest.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal, made this known yesterday in Hong, Adamawa State, during the graduation of 500 students of Buba Industrial Village.

The skills acquisition programme was part of the youth empowerment scheme introduced by Yusuf Buba, the member representing Gombi/Hong federal constituency in the House of Representatives.

He said the reconstruction of the region was part of the election campaign promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The SGF stressed that the aim was to bring lasting solutions to insurgency and rebuild destroyed infrastructure in the area.

“The federal government has begun the reconstruction of schools and police stations, among others, destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast region.

“The present APC-led government is determined to guarantee peaceful co-existence among Nigerians and ensure that Nigerians, irrespective of their locality or belief, benefit from the dividend of democracy,” Lawan said.

He criticised the opposition parties for what he called a campaign of calumny during the last general election, which linked the All Progressives Congress party with a particular religion and the insurgency.

Lawal said Buhari and the APC-led government would never discriminate against any Nigerian on the basis of religion or any other affiliation.

He commended Buba for initiating the skills acquisition programme for youths, describing the gesture as a “landmark achievement” worthy of emulation.

According to him, the programme was the first of its kind in the area since the inception of democracy in 1999.

In his address, Buba said that the gesture was part of the promises made during his election campaign.

“During my election campaign, I promised my constituents that if elected, I will bring change through youth empowerment programmes.

“And today, this is the second graduation where over 500 youths were trained in various skills and assisted with free equipment to start their businesses,” Buba said.