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Legislature changes stance on plight of IDPs

14 August 2015, 18:03

Abuja - The legislators at both the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly appear more in touch with the terror-ravaged communities mostly in the North-Eastern parts of the country than their predecessors.

Recently, a team of members from the Senate, led by the House’s President, Bukola Saraki, visited camps housing internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States-the three states worst affected by the deadly terror the Boko Haram has been carrying out since 2009.

The men of the red chamber commiserated with distraught families who have lost beloved ones and property during the Islamic militant’s sect’s reign of terror.

Senator George Sekibo fronted the motion calling for the Senate to show solidarity with the victims.

Since the inception of insurgents’ assaults in the region several government institutions such as educational and health institutions as well as the Police, the Customs, the Immigration and Military barracks have been completely destroyed with no offices and facilities for use by the institution affected,” Sekibo said.

Also read: Governments partner to ease problems of Borno IDPs

He added that thousands of personal buildings and properties, social amenities and infrastructures such as electricity and telephone services have been destroyed in the region. The Senator observes that the livelihood of many indigenes of the area have been disrupted and majority of the people are either in IDP camps or helplessly roaming the streets without any hope for their future.

Sekibo worried that such situation where people are kept without hope for future would encourage them to give themselves as recruits of the Boko Haram sect. He also expressed worried that government’s inability to rehabilitate and rebuild infrastructures of the areas that have been taken back from the insurgents.

Saraki expressed solidarity with the terror victims.

“The challenge in the North East is a challenge to all Nigerians,” he said, adding the Senate will ensure the fight against insurgency is well funded.

Similarly, the House of Representatives has also passed a resolution urging the Federal Government to assist the governments of the North-Eastern States of the country to urgently construct temporary camps and homes for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to allow for evacuation from schools which have remained closed for over three years.

 The development follows a recent motion moved by Asabe Vilita Bashir, seeking for prudent use of victims’ Intervention Fund generated by the past administration.

The lawmaker pointed out that the government of the affected States had to re-settle the internally displaced persons in schools, hajj and NYSC camps which have resulted to the closure of schools. She argued that the situation has left students idling away and vulnerable to social vices.

She has charged the federal government to rebuild and refurbish schools to enable them reopen.

Such a stance is in contrast to the previous administration’s handling of the Boko Haram terror.

A prominent example is the furore around the abduction of the more than
200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State. Jonathan incurred the wrath of the community and opposition when he took months to meet the parents of the kidnapped schoolgirls.

The meeting was held at the comfort of his Aso Villa official after it was reported he was advised against visiting Chibok, which was deemed unsafe.

The administration’s handling of the Boko Haram crisis was seen as one of his drawbacks in the presidential elections earlier this year.

Muhammadu Buhari won with a clean sweep in the three states worst affected by terror.

It is estimated the Boko Haram has killed more than 13 000 civilians between 2009 and 2015. Some 2 million people have been displaced.

- CAJ News


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