The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, on Saturday, criticised the federal government for failing to play its role in providing succour to internally displaced persons, IDPs, and leaving them to charitable acts from faith-based and non-governmental organisations.
Dogara also said that government has not put in place structures of rehabilitation needed for the IDPs to return to their various homes.
Dogara’s special adviser on media and public affairs, Turaki Hassan, in a statement made available to newsmen stated, “Dogara said this when he paid a visit to Karmajiji IDPs camp in Abuja, where he flagged off medical outreach for over 2000 people in the camp.”
The Speaker, therefore, called for an integration of IDPs into neigbouring communities as it has become apparent that structures needed to be put in place for them to return to their various homes have not been put in place.
According to the statement, “Dogara flayed government agencies for failing to play their roles in providing succor for the internally displaced persons and leaving them at the mercy of faith-based and non-governmental organisations.
“He noted that though the appropriate thing would be to return them to their communities, they cannot be left on their own because the war on terrorism has not totally been won, which puts their lives at risk in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents.
“It is turning out to be a long stay, I don’t know how we will approach this, whether this act of intervention on the part of the N.G.Os and faith-based organisations will be enough, or whether government should look for other means by which we can integrate the IDPs as against rushing them back to their communities where they could be displaced again.
“So that is the task that we all must set our minds to accomplish. We need to integrate them if we cannot send them back to their communities in the nearest possible time. That effort must be made by government, not even N.G.Os, N.G.Os can support and faith-based organisations can also support, but the government must stand up and be counted.”
The Speaker further expressed dismay at the appalling condition in which IDPs live in the camps, even though they are in the FCT, saying that should not be the case in Nigeria.
Dogara said, “That government have to live up to their responsibilities to provide social services to brothers and sisters who are direly in need of them.”