Abuja - Senator Ali Ndume (PDP-Borno) has urged the Federal Government to seek urgent international assistance toward rehabilitating internally displaced persons in the North-East following insurgency.
Ndume told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja that affected persons were dying of hunger, diseases and lack of sanitation.
"The Federal Government needs to do something and it is not only that, I think it is high time the federal government adopted the motion that we moved in the Senate.
"That they should urgently seek international assistance, especially the United Nations Commission for Refugees, which is specialised in dealing with the issues of internally displaced persons.
"There is nothing wrong in asking your neighbour for help if your house is on fire because the neighbour knows that one day too his house can be on fire.
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"Seeking assistance from other countries does not show weakness because we have been doing that to other countries too.
"Even stronger or developed countries when they are challenged with natural calamity or disasters such as this they are not ashamed of asking the United Nations particularly for assistance.
"We as representatives of the people have run to the United Nations Country Director but they (official) told us that the request cannot come from the Senators, but it has to be from the country,’’ he said.
The lawmaker said he had to assist in relocating no fewer than 2 000 persons from the affected local governments to Maiduguri, while more than 15 000 displaced persons were scattered all over the country.
"I just came back from Yola yesterday, where I visited the internally displaced people.
With the invasion of Mubi over the weekend both Mubi people and my people that were seeking refuge there had to run to Yola again.
"So I went over the weekend to see what I could do and we had to move most of them from Yola back to Maiduguri through Gombe, more than eight hours’ journey.
"As at yesterday, we had moved about 2 000 and we will continue to move them to Maiduguri.
"NEMA is the only Federal presence there and they are also overwhelmed by the number of people n the camp.
"Just in one camp, the NYSC camp, there are more than 10,000 people and even in this Abuja, we have more than 5 000 persons scattered all over,’’ he said.