From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has disclosed that no fewer than 2.9 million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of insecurity in the North East.
It revealed that already over 300,000 Nigerian refugees had sought asylum in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, decrying the activities of Boko Haram had lingered for more than 10 years.
UNHCR Representative in Nigeria, Ms Chansa Kapaya, who addressed newsmen, in Abuja, at the launch of IDP Zakat Fund, appealed to Nigerians to support the initiative, in order to provide succour to those affected.
“The crisis of internal displacement in Nigeria has persisted for more thank 10 years. Currently, 2.9 million people in Nigeria are internally displaced.
“2.9 million is an outstanding number and it is difficult for most people to see the human face behind the number, and to contextualise the individual stories of hardship, suffering and loss.
“But, let us remember that these are 2.9 million men, women and children who have fled their homes because of violence and conflict and gross human rights violation,” she said.
Kapaya added that, “UNHCR works to support the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to fulfill its international obligations to provide international protection and humanitarian assistance to refugees, the internally displaced and stateless people.
Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of Sokoto State Zakat and Waqf Commission (SOZECOM), Lawal Maidoki, explained that the funds would be used to cater for their education, health and feeding, adding all those displaced will benefit regardless of religious inclination or culture.