President Muhammadu Buhari has again said Nigeria is committed to assisting all displaced persons by providing durable and sustainable solutions that assure their rehabilitation, reintegration and resettlement back into society.
The President stated this on Friday during the commemoration of the National Day for Internally Displaced Persons at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja with the theme “The journey so far: The Future of Durable Solutions.”
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President Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, said the National IDP’s day was dedicated to celebrate people in the country who had been displaced by both man-made and natural disasters and commended their resilience.
He said the increasing incidence of forced displacement resulting from ethnic, religious, economic and boundary conflicts, natural and man-made disasters, and its attendant massive destruction to lives and property compelled the Federal Government to embark on a search for durable solutions through the drafting and signing of a National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons by FEC in 2021.
The President said the recent flooding incidents that occurred in the country along with its devastating effects had led to the displacement of many more citizens, rendering millions of fellow Nigerians homeless and causing massive destruction of proprieties, farmland and infrastructure across Nigeria.
He commiserated with all those who had lost loved ones, their properties as well as all the affected communities and institutions, reassuring that this administration remained fully committed to the welfare and well-being of all Nigerians at all times.
He said: “Ladies and gentlemen, the reality before us validates the choice of celebrating the National IDP’s day. Our gathering today is to raise awareness on the plight of IDPs in Nigeria by recognizing their courage and resilience while ensuring their participation in society and relevant decisions that affect them and promote their empowerment.
“Like never before, this year’s celebration has offered us the opportunity as a nation to publicly and symbolically demonstrate our solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have lost their livelihood, their homes and even their loved ones to displacement.
“Building on that, the Colloquium holding today will be a veritable opportunity for stakeholder’s both state and non-state actors including the private sector to understand the measures and strategies put in place to achieve the objectives of the IDPs policy document to better mitigate, protect and ultimately achieve durable solutions for Internally displaced persons in Nigeria in line with the whole of government and whole of society approach to durable solutions of the Commission.”
President Buhari commended the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for their active role in the coordination of national and international humanitarian interventions by ensuring strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response as well as management of the formulation and implementation of fair focused social inclusion and protection programmes in Nigeria.
He also saluted the conveners of the event, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and their partners for their consistency and effort in providing protection and assistance to displaced persons across the country.
In her goodwill message, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq said the recent flood was a “sad global phenomenon as a result of climate change, which has also doubled the number of displaced persons nationwide and globally.”
She reassured all Nigerians that the Federal Government was prepared to do everything possible to mitigate the impact of this natural disaster while providing succor to ensure that citizens were able to rebuild their lives.
The minister, who said efforts were on-going on the domestication of the Kampala Convention, which is long overdue, added that this would further entrench the appropriate legal and regulatory infrastructure for the protection of refugees and IDPs as well as the promotion of their welfare in Nigeria.