By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
A human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed deep worry over the alleged deteriorating condition of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East region of Nigeria.
The organization raised the concern in a statement signed by its founder and director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, yesterday.
The organization has consequently charged the Federal Government to make special allocations available for the relief of the IDPs.
The MURIC equally asked the Federal Government to expedite action on the North East Development Commission (NEDC) which was approved about two years ago.
The MURIC statement said, “According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, there are 2.4 million displaced people in the North East of Nigeria.
“This figure includes 471,000 IDPs in Cameroon, Chad and Niger and more than 228,000 refugees. Borno State government has also registered 42,000 orphans and 200,000 widows as a result of Boko Haram insurgency.
“In our own opinion, the Borno State government is overwhelmed as the number of IDPs in the state alone is higher than the population of the federal capital territory. These IDPs suffer from hunger and various ailments due to poor hygiene occasioned by the unhealthy environment in which some of them are kept.
“MURIC appeals to state governments all over the federation to rise to the occasion.
“The North East is facing a humanitarian crisis of monumental proportion. Drugs, food items, clothes, beddings, sanitary materials, etc are what sister states, charity groups and wealthy individuals can send to the Borno State government. We are most likely to avoid a spill-over effect if we can quickly rally round the government of Borno State. That is the true spirit of one Nigeria.
“In particular, we charge the Federal Government (FG) to make special allocations available for the relief of the IDPs. It is equally germane at this juncture to ask FG to expedite action on the North East Development Commission (NEDC) which we advocated for and which was approved about two years ago. Why have we not been hearing anything about the commission?
“We remind Nigerians of the need to actively support those who are suffering among us.
“Before we take a break, we will like to advocate severe punishment for theft, diversion, abuse or misuse of any relief material meant for IDPs”.