From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The United Nations (UN), has promised to assist the Nigerian government to rehabilitate Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
UN Under Secretary General/ Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, made the pledge yesterday when he paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, in Abuja.
The meeting also had in attendance. Matthias Schmale – UN Resident /Humanitarian Coordinator, Nigeria; Sofie Garde Thomle – Deputy Director (Operations and Advocacy Division – OCHA New York); Natasha Geber – Special Assistant to Under Secretary General/ Emergency Relief Coordinator;
Gabriele De Gaudenzi – Humanitarian Affairs Officer – OCHA New York, and Uche Njoku.
Griffiths said, “I am very pleased to be a partner with you in efforts to meet the needs of the people and many of whom I met and talked to in Borno State.
“This is not a short term engagement; a medium to long term engagement the end of which will see, as we saw yesterday, the successful return of those people to their homes and dignity and respect and prosperity.
“I am convinced that the approach that we saw outlined both in the field and in the meeting with the governor is a very effective one. It is innovative. It is a responsive one and which is why we are proud to play our part. Humanitarian assistance is essential.
“The last point I will make when I get to Geneva is just to be reminded the appalling tragedy that befell those people many years ago.
“And to hear those stories that happened to those women in particular and their families and the destitution, circle of displacement, that resulted the world need to remember and never forget what happened there is to stand by your side as you and your fellow minister address those issues on behalf of the people.
“It was a very productive visit and a very useful for me to get some ideas of the undeserved tragedy we have heard over the years which is so vivid in the minds of the victims of the activities of those groups.”
In her response, Umar Farouq, stated that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to ensuring that IDPs safely return to their communities with stipends to enable them live a decent life.
She said, “I assure that the federal government of Nigeria under Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari is very committed to ensuring that this issue of insurgency becomes the thing of the past.
“Also, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to ensuring that these people return to their respective communities in safety and indignity.
“We government agencies that are saddled with that responsibilities which my ministry is coordinating.”