Lawmakers have commended United Nations organisations operating in the North East of Nigeria, international organisations and the Nigerian military for their interventions in bringing peace, stability and humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced persons.
The lawmakers from the six North East States expressed these views to Voice of Nigeria in Yola, where they gathered to discuss how they could enact laws to protect and assist Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
Borno LawMaker, Mr. Ali Kotoko, Representing Maiduguri Metropolitan in the State House of Assembly, said humanitarian aid workers and the Nigerian Army have continued to support the government of the State with their various efforts in keeping peace and caring for the needs of the IDPs, who have been forced to flee their homes due to the activities of the insurgents in the zone.
Mr. Kotoko thanked the Nigerian Army and the civilian Joint Taskforce for recapturing former boko haram captured territories.
“Without the Nigerian Army and the civilian JTF, I am telling you, Maiduguri would be the headquarters of boko haram, We appreciate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, over his effort of putting his mind on concentrating on Borno State and more especially on the North East in terms of this crisis, and by appointing our brother, our own son to be the Chief of Army Staff, somebody who knows everywhere, somebody who knows the condition we are in,” Mr. Kotoko said.
He stated that the government alone could not have done it alone, because of the magnitude of the displacement, where 90% of the IDPs come from and were in 23 camps within the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council alone.
“Intervention of the NGOs and the United Nations is well appreciated. Without NGOS, without the United Nations, government cannot take care of everything. The World Food Programme, the United nations High Commissioner for Refugees, including the NGOs, they are doing very well. So, we appreciate what they are doing. And from the government side, we are trying our best by rebuilding their houses, their roads, education. My governor was the Commissioner of the Triple R, which is Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement,” he explained.
Mr. Kotoko believes that it was the effort of Professor Babagana Umara Zullum as the Commissioner of the Triple R, who served as commissioner during the administration of former Governor Kashim Ibrahim Shetima that endeared him to the people of the State, who now voted him in as the Governor of Borno State.
“Because of his efforts of handling the IDPs and the reconstruction of the destroyed towns, our people decided to choose him to become the next governor and now he is the governor. Presently, in a week, he does not spend more than three days in the Metropolitan. He is always in the local government areas to see the situation of the situation of the IDPs and projects going on.
The Borno Law maker commended the present rehabilitation work going on in the local government headquarters, which he said had set the place ready for the IDPs in Maiduguri to go back and resettle.
The Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Mr. Abubakar Y. Suleiman, who is the Chairman of the North East Speakers Forum, said the international organisations in the North East were doing their best in collaborating with the State government to care for the IDPs.
“They are trying their best and the governments too are trying their best that is why we are always coming together we initiate something and government will collaborate, so that we change the lives of the IDPs. They are doing their best,” Mr. Sulieman said.
Abubakar Isa, is the member representing Sheleng Constituency in the Adamawa State House of Assembly, who is equally the House Chairman on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, Special Duties and Internally Displaced Persons.
He said the support of the International organisations in Adamawa State had been strong since the beginning of the insurgency, to the time of communal clashes in parts of the State, where thousands have been displaced.
We have been collaborating. We have a lot of NGOs, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, we also have Danish Refugee Council, we have the United nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, as well the International Committee of the Red Cross and several others. They are all here in Adamawa State and we have been cooperating with them. No one person or no one government institution can proudly say they can do it alone. So, it’s a team work and we have to bring out the humanity in us, whether in government, whether in the NGO or in the private sector, so that we respect the sanctity of human right and the sanctity of the rights of the individuals that are staying with us,” said Mr. Abubakar Isa, the member representing Sheleng Constituency in the Adamawa State House of Assembly.