By Ochiaka Ugwu
The Muhammadu Buhari’s administration no doubt is doing everything humanly possible to return peace to troubled North East region and concerted efforts have been made to achieve this. Although, the military has been able to degrade Boko Haram terrorists but thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) remain unable to return home and are in need of help and attention.
Unfortunately, a majority of the displaced people staying in Abuja come from the worst affected parts of Borno State that is not conducive for return yet. They depend on good spirited Nigerians, the authorities and aid organizations for survival and sustenance.
To lessen their suffering and give them sense of belonging in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda of alleviating poverty in the system, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) led by the Honourable Federal Commissioner, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq distributed relief materials at the weekend for the benefit of IDPs in the Federal Capital Territory.
Speaking during the flag off of the distribution of empowerment and educational items at Wassa, Durumi and Kuchingoro IDPs’ camps, Hajiya Farouq expressed her delight in conveying President Muhammadu Buahri’s message of hope and reintegration.
Her words, “I am delighted to be in this great event of the flag-off of the distribution of relief materials for the benefit of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja”.
Farouq said that the Commission is using the event to further demonstrate their obligation to make the displaced persons better and happy by providing durable solutions.
“Let me start by welcoming you all to this special occasion. This flag-off of the distribution of relief materials today is an occasion where we at the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons wish to use to further demonstrate our commitment to assisting the Displaced Persons in the FCT. Being the Agency responsible for ensuring that durable solutions are found for persons and communities who have been displaced by conflict, man-made and natural disasters, the NCFRMI will ever remain fully committed to the recovery plans for POCs in Nigeria as envisioned by his Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari”.
She also stated the Commission’s desire to assist the IDPs in making a grand return back home when it is safe to do so.
She revealed that the programme would be carried out across the country, saying that the commission has already commenced with Kebbi in the North West and it would be extended to other states hosting IDPs.
“Our concern for the provision of durable solutions is to put to an end to those activities that can temporarily or permanently that bring about displacement, such as assisting displaced persons to Return to their habitual residences when it becomes possible and safe, Reintegrate them in host communities as well as Resettle or Relocate them elsewhere in safer areas.
“However, the Commission will always support rehabilitation of lives and livelihoods and also provides relief materials to cushion the effect of displacement until durable solution is achieved. That explain why we are here today.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please permit me to once again welcome everyone to this official flag-off of the distribution of relief materials to IDPs. The materials for this flag-off ranges from food, non-food, shelter, healthcare items, agricultural inputs, educational materials etc. In the past, we have distributed various materials to support the IDPs in FCT. Our efforts today shows that the NCFRMI did not only come today to identify with the plight of those displaced, but to assure them that the Commission will continue to provide opportunities that will promote dignity and self reliance.
“Furthermore, I wish to add that the NCFRMI will continue to make sure that our activities take into consideration the serious protection issues faced by vulnerable groups such as women, children, disabled persons, the elderly, young men etc, by offering specialized psychological interventions such as psychotherapy, counseling and improved access to social services and amenities for our persons of concern.
“The Commission in its quest to provide succour and durable solution to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the FCT has come today to empathise with the IDPs and flag-off the distribution of empowerment items, educational materials, etc to meet some basic needs of the IDPs in FCT. Our staff are on ground to ensure equitable distribution of these items.
‘Ladies and Gentleman, on this occasion I wish to use this opportunity to applaud the unwavering efforts of the Honourable Minister of Federal Capital Territory and his wonderful team on their care and support for POCs in FCT. I also wish to commend the dedication of numerous government and non-government Agencies, both local and international, security forces that are working hand in hand with the local communities to alleviate the suffering of affected people and to eliminate the root causes of internal displacement.
“I further wish to commend the dedication of the numerous government and non government agencies, both local and international, working hand in hand with the local communities to alleviate the suffering of affected people and to eliminate the root causes of internal displacement.
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, my final message to our IDPs today is to bring a message of hope to them. It is a message, which I believe that by identifying with them with these token, the Commission may have succeeded in inspiring great hope, belief and emboldens their aspirations. We will therefore continue to work very hard to ensure that your lives are improved and your communities are restored” she concluded.
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Malam Muhammad Musa Bello represented by Vincent Chachafa urged the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of the nation by making good use of the donations.
The Honourable Member representing Damboa/Gwoza/Chibok in House of Representatives, Hon. Asabe Vilita Bashir was on hand to speak to her constituents. She urged them to always exhibit good behavior and make good use of the materials given to them.
Responding on behalf of the IDPs, the Chairman of Kuchingoro IDPs camp, Mr. Philemon Emmanuel thanked the Federal Government for the support. He assured that they would make judicious use of all items and continue to be law abiding and live peacefully.
He also urged the authorities to expedite action on making their home conducive for them to go home.
Also speaking, the Women Leader of Kuchingoro camp, Mrs. Ladi Mathias who appreciated the kind gesture of President Buhari to them said that God will reward him bountifully.
At the Wassa camp, beneficiaries like James Kilkwa, Buba Wakili, Hassan Ibrahim, Hafsat Ahmad, Lyndia Haruna and Salmatu Isah were given grinding machines
Some of the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and Hajia Farouq for giving them succour in their time of need.
Speaking on behalf of beneficiaries from Kuchingoro settlement, Hanatu Andress who is a native of Gwoza was full of joy. She said that it is a good thing that President Buhari is remembering them now that they needed help most.
The items distributed included grinding machines, sprayer kits, pesticides, herbicides, food flasks and water bottles, bags of rice, beans, groundnut oil, Indomine noodles, mosquito nets, pots and other cooking utensils.
The educational materials included school bags, note books, mathematical sets, biros, pencils, markers, sharpeners, white boards, joint wooden chairs with tables, teacher’s tables and chairs among others.
Indeed, the IDPs were happy for the items given to them by President Buhari through the NCFRMI, but one thing is central to them. They want to go home.