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NOA Cautions CSOs, Media Over Stigmatization Of IDPs

Faith Aghaeze, Abuja

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has warned Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the media to guard against exposing victims of domestic terrorism to stigmatization by showing pictures of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to the public.

Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri, in a statement, signed by the Assistant Director (Press),Paul Odenyi.

During the weekend ,said the caution had become necessary following the result of a recent appraisal by the Intelligence Community Committee (ICC) of reports on the status of women and children rescued from the terrorist camps in Sambisa forest.

He said the appraisal proved that exposing the faces and the plights of these victims of terrorism could undermine the efforts being made by relevant government agencies to rehabilitate and eventually reintegrate the victims within their communities.

“While we appreciate the efforts of the media and Civil Society Organizations to draw attention to the plights of these IDPs and raise public sympathy and support for them, there is need for utmost care to avoid exposing the full identities of victims of terror to the public as this is capable of subjecting them to stigmatisation from members of the public; and that would be counter-productive”. he stated

The NOA Director General also commended the efforts of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other government agencies at providing succour for the IDPs as well as rehabilitating and reintegrating them into society, urging Nigerians to accord them all the necessary support.

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