UN to raise $1b for humanitarian needs of IDPs in Nigeria, rejects force eviction
WorldStage Newsonline-- The United Nations (UN) has warned the Federal and states governments in Nigeria against force eviction and arbitrary closure of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the north east of the country as plans to raise over $1 billion to address humanitarian needs of those affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in northeastern.
UNDP Resident Representative, Nigeria, Edward Kallon at a breakfast meeting with journalists in Abuja, expressed optimistic that Nigeria would rise above its current challenges whether it is economy, insecurity or governance related, urged both states and Federal Government to ensure safe and voluntary return of the IDPs
He said, “I would like to urge the authorities to ensure returns of people to their homes are safe and voluntary, well-informed based on up-to-date and accurate information on their homes of origin, and respect people’s dignity.
“We cannot force people to go back when there is nothing for them; there should be no forced return.
“There should be no arbitrary closure of camps without guarantees of safety, access to basic services, critical infrastructure and humanitarian assistance.”
He said he was recently in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa where he saw people scouting around with nothing to eat, no basic social services, and schools were not functioning with health centres displaced.
He noted that these were people chased out of their basic homes and now trying to return but could not even reach their land because of pockets of insecurity.
Kallon expressed concern about the hardship the returnees were facing, stressing that most of the basic services and infrastructure including electricity had been destroyed by boko haram guys.
“So you can imagine how long it will take people to have light except we have miracles of clean energy because this requires major investment; bridges were blown off, houses were destroyed.
“People are returning to nothing, that is harsh reality, but when you are in centre of the state, besides those you see in s you will not see these ugly faces I am describing to you.
“But as you get into the hinterland, where the average Nigerians are living, then you can see the hardship and suffering of the people.
“I am appealing for the application and recognition of the Kampala convention which basically says that return should be voluntary to safe area and with dignity. “