By Fatima Sule
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) recently announced that there are more than 2.1 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country.
According to the Displacement Tracking Matrix report by the International Organisation for Migration, the number represents more than 300,000 households in the northern part of the country.
The report covers situations in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe, Nasarawa and Abuja.
It also notes that the activities of insurgents in the north eastern of the country have amplified the number of IDPs in recent time.
In the light of this development, the care for the IDPs has been a concern for Federal Government, state governments, on-governmental organisation and civil society organisations, among others.
While the Federal Government has been active in managing the various IDPs camp across the country through NEMA, individuals and groups have given commitment to caring for IDPs to assuage their sufferings.
In her contribution, the wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, recently inaugurated a 12-member committee for the distribution of relief materials to the victims of the insurgency in Borno.
According to her, the committee will oversee the distribution of the items and the intervention will continue.
“I want to assure you that this is going to be a continuous exercise, as I continue to appeal for more donations for this purpose; it is our hope that the menace of insurgents will soon be a thing of the past,’’ she said.
She thanked the donor organisations and individuals that donated the relief materials, urging other groups to emulate the gesture because of the rising number of those that needed such care.
At the inauguration, Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his determination to end insurgency and thanked his wife for her donations to IDPs.
Also, the governor’s wife, Hajiya Nana Shettima, commended the Buhari’s administration for the success it had recorded in the fight against insurgency.
“We now have relative peace in our area and many of our local government headquarters have been recaptured from the insurgents,’’ she said.
She pledged that the relief materials would be judiciously distributed to the affected persons to enhance their wellbeing.
The wife of the president also acknowledged the contributions of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State by donating N150 million to IDPs in the effected states, noting that the fund would be used to ameliorate the sufferings of IDPs and facilitate their rehabilitation.
In a related development, the wife of the president observed that insurgency had been a major challenge facing the country.
She made the observation in Abuja recently when she received a delegation of directors of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc. that came to donate some food items to the IDPs via her office.
She said that the assistance of corporate organisations and individuals would go a long way in addressing some of the problems confronting the IDPs in various camps.
“Although the state governments of the affected areas are doing their best, other organisations and individuals can do more.
“Such assistance is necessary to put a smile in the faces of IDPs in the camps before their eventual relocation to their original abode,’’ she said.
The president’s wife commended the management of the company for the kind gesture and urged other groups to do same.
The leader of the delegation, Alhaji Olalekan Salihu, who represented the Managing Director, Mr Paul Gbadebo, said that the company had in the past donated foods worth more than N22 million to IDPs in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
He described the action as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility, supporting the company’s commitment and willingness to sustain the nation-building initiatives of the wife of the president.
Apart from this, Mrs Buhari and the wife of Plateau governor, Mrs Regina Lalong, recently presented relief items worth millions of naira to IDPs at Zawan Commercial College, Bukuru, Jos.
At the presentation, Mrs Lalong said: “As mothers, we will do our best to make sure we cushion the effect of whatever you are passing through now and we will encourage you to know that the situation is temporary.’’
In the same vein, the wife of the president visited Better Life Children’s Home in Yola, where she urged the management of the home to ensure the provision of a good environment for the children to give them a sense of belonging.
She commended Gov. Jibrilla Bindow of Adawama for renovating the home and pleaded with the state government to transfer some children that suffered malnutrition in various IDPs camps in the state to the home.
Mrs Maisaratu Bello, the Permanent Secretary, Adamawa Ministry for Women Affairs, who conducted the president’s wife around the home, said that it had capacity to accommodate more than 50 children.
She said that the orphanage was inaugurated on Dec. 24, 1991 with the aim of improving the wellbeing of orphans.
Participants at the occasion observed that Mrs Buhari had been assisting the less-privileged members of the society, particularly those in IDPs camps as a result of insurgency.
In Mrs Buhari’s opinion about the public perception of her passion for caring for the IDPs, she said: “I am deeply touched by the plight of the people’’.(NANFeatures)
Caring For IDPs In Nigeria: The Aisha Buhari’s Example
By Fatima Sule