Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has joined the global community to canvass that more attention should be given to the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) still trapped in various camps across the country as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency and banditry in the North East and North West parts of the country.
Saraki in a statement issued in Abuja by his Media Office in commemoration of the International Day for the Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism noted that government, non-governmental organisations, Nigerians in general, development partners and the international community should not relent in continuing to provide relief materials for the victims of violence in IDP camps as a way of reducing the trauma they are going through.
He noted that providing succour for victims of violence in their temporary abode at the IDP camps should be the first step in the reconstruction, resettlement and rehabilitation (3 Rs) plan to finally make the victims of violence get a final closure to their sad experience and restore normalcy in their lives.
“We must pay more attention to providing more facilities for the convenience and benefit of the IDPs that will make their temporary stay in those camps less stressful and more comfortable. Today, as the global community pays tributes to the victims of violence, our attention should be focused on making their lives better.
“It is obvious that the attention being given by privileged individuals, governments, international donors, development agencies and non-governmental organisations seem to be waning. We need to all redirect attention to the welfare of the IDPs and refuse to be distracted by the real security crisis that those camps represent, among other issues”, he stated.
The former Senate President urged that adequate security should be provided in areas where the hitherto displaced people have taken the bold steps to return home.
The former Senate President noted that attention should also be given to how to ensure that the people in the IDP camps eventually return home to their communities and start living normal lives.
He noted that the need for immediate commencement of reconstruction, resettlement and rehabilitation of the communities affected by insurgency alongside the efforts to restore peace inspired the quick passage of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) Act by the Eighth National Assembly.
He then advised the leadership of the NEDC to make the positive impact of the commission felt immediately by commencing quick restoration of the displaced people back to their communities in peace and devoid of any present or future trauma or harassment.
“ At this point, it is important to join the global community in remembering and paying tribute to the victims of violent attacks by terrorists, bandits and other non-state actors. It is important to remember all Nigerians who have lost their lives to these wanton acts of violence and pay tribute to their memories. Not only to preserve the memory of their times on earth but also to serve as a marker to the Nigerian State on the need to do all that is necessary to put a stop to these acts of terrorism and ensure a return to peace and normalcy.
“My prayers go to the soldiers, aid workers, residents and others who have over the years become victims of insurgency, violence and inter-tribal crises across the country. May Allah bless the affected families, communities and our country. May God continue to protect all those who are still involved in quelling all forms of violence in our country and may He restore peace and heal our land”, Saraki stated.