President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to assisting all displaced persons by providing durable and sustainable solutions that assure their rehabilitation, reintegration and resettlement back into society.
The President made this known 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.”
President Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, explained that the National IDP’s day was declared to celebrate people in the country who had been displaced by both man-made and natural disasters and commended their resilience.
According to him, the rising cases 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 the Federal Executive Council in 2021.
He lamented that 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 properties, farmland and infrastructure across Nigeria.
The president further commiserate with all those who had lost loved ones, their property as well as all the affected communities and institutions, reassuring that his administration remains fully committed to the welfare and well-being of all Nigerians at all times.
He stated “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.”
The president also commended the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for the active role it played 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 thanked the organisers 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 remarks, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, described the recent flood as a “sad global phenomenon as a result of climate change, which has also doubled the number of displaced persons nationwide and globally.”
She, however, reassured all Nigerians of the Federal Government’s preparedness to cushion the effect of the natural disaster while providing succor to ensure that citizens were able to rebuild their lives.
While stating that efforts are ongoing to domesticate the Kampala Convention, which is long overdue, she added that it would further establish the appropriate legal and regulatory infrastructure for the protection of refugees and IDPs and also promote their welfare in Nigeria.