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Boko Haram: Senators To Raise N20m Fund For Displaced Persons

*Urges FG To Seek Foreign Assistance In Caring For Victims

The Nigerian Senate has resolved to raise N20 million among themselves to support internally displaced persons in the country, especially those displaced by Boko Haram operations in the North East.

It also urged the federal government to redouble its efforts in providing relief materials to the affected persons as well as solicit assistance of international agencies in caring for the victims.

This followed a motion of urgent national importance raised by the Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP Bauchi Central) on the plight of the internally displaced persons in the North Eastern Nigeria.

Ningi in the lead debate decried the situation of internally displaced people in the area and warned that the problem of insurgency is a circle that is capable of revolving round the country if not checked.

According to him, the whole essence of the motion was to seek attention of the international community as well as those of federal and state governments to the inhuman situation people of the North East are exposed to.

Ningi added that the people of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno are finding life almost impossible to live. “As I speak to you, we have over two million internally displaced persons from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states”, he said, adding that the internally displaced persons have found refuge, not only in Bauchi, Jigawa, Benue and Taraba states but also outside Nigeria including Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

He said that the most painful aspect of these crises is the lack of attention by the international community to this particular unfortunate human tragedy.

“We have seen how the international community has performed excellently in other climes. We have seen the international community playing greater roles in Afghanistan, we have seen them in Pakistan, we have seen them in Yemen, we have seen them in Somalia, we have seen them in Syria and we have been seeing them in Palestine and Iraq.

“But the issue of Nigeria defies any logic. We have been left as if we are not a party to this international convention. I know there is political tension but this is about life.”Life of people who have elected all of us to come and do what we are doing on their behalf.

I have mentioned it before and I will mention it again that for us in the North East, election and politicking is of secondary importance. What is important for us is just to secure and protect the lives of our citizens.

This is very primary and this is why we are raising this issue for the attention of the government – the state, federal and the international community.

“The citizens of the North East have found themselves in this situation and there is nowhere for them to go. They were able to escape the domination of Boko Haram in these areas that have been taken over and where they escaped to, people are not paying adequate attention to their survival.

Other lawmakers who contributed to the motion described the situation as unfortunate and called on both state and federal government to intensify efforts towards curbing activities of insurgents.

For the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, the issue of Boko Haram and the displaced persons have placed Nigeria between the devil and the deep blue sea.

He regretted that while Boko Haram members were harassing the people on one hand, the consequences, which include large number of internally displaced persons is putting the nation’s economy at risk. He therefore urged both Nigerian government and international agencies to act as a matter or urgency.

“The situation in the North East is like being between the devil and the deep blue sea. We are harassed on one side by Boko Haram, resulting in internally displaced persons.

“These persons are denied assess to their homes and sources of livelihood. In that kind of situation, the least that humanity or international community can do is to ameliorate the situation. We must as a nation look at them with greater sense of urgency.”

I believe we can do better for them. I call on the federal government and international community to look at their situation with a high sense of urgency”, Ndoma-Egba said.


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