Abuja - The House of Representatives is putting
legislative structures in place to ensure protection of the rights of
internally displaced persons (IDPs), Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, has
A statement signed by Turaki Hassan, Special Adviser, Media/Public
Affairs to the Speaker, said Dogara gave the assurance when received a
delegation from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR).
The statement was issued to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
Dogara said that efforts were on top gear by relevant committees in
the House to ensure that Nigeria domesticate and ratify the UN Kampala
treaty on the rights of refugees.
He said that the committees would soon conclude work on the document and submit it at plenary for further legislative action.
He said that the bill for the establishment of the proposed
North-East Commission and the Kampala Commission were also before the
He added the report of the committees would be brought before the House during plenary for consideration.
"Hopefully we will pass it and in no distant time, it will be ratified," he said.
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The speaker told the delegation that in recognition of the plight of
IDPs and the need to rehabilitate and resettle them, the House
constituted a committee on IDPs.
He said that the House would not support the call for over 2 million
displaced persons to return to their communities until adequate security
was provided in the affected areas.
"There is no way we can do that unless we bring the conflict to an
end; it makes no sense for anybody to insist that IDPs should go back
to their communities."
"Chances are there that they may be attacked if conditions that gave rise to the crisis are not totally eliminated," he said.
Dogara said that democracy would not thrive in Nigeria if the lives of the citizens were not secured.
"As it is said, democracy is a promise that deals with life and the pursuit of happiness."
"All other promises of democracy cannot come through unless there is
life. That is the most important promise of democracy," he added.
Earlier, leader of the UNHCR delegation, MVolke Turk, stressed the
need for the government to find solution to the challenges facing the
Turk is the Assistant High Commissioner in charge of Protection of Rights of Refugees and IDPs.
He urged the speaker to expedite action to ensure that Nigeria
domesticate and ratify the UN convention on the protection of the rights
of refugees in the
According to him, ratification of the treaty will be `extremely
valuable contribution’ to the protection of the rights of refugees.