Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has told Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the North East that the Federal government is doing everything possible to restore lasting peace in the troubled area and improve their plights.
He said this in Jos at the commemoration of Sefanous Foundation Internal Displaced Persons camp and official launch of the coalition for minority rights at the Zang Commercial Secondary School , Bukuru Jos .
Represented by the Chaplain of Aso Villa Chapel , Pastor Joseph Malomo, Osinbajo said “we want to assure Nigerians that the plight of IDPs will continue to receive due attention. The Federal government is deeply touched and concerned about the IDPs and the living conditions in their camps”.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong called on every community to embrace peace and respect each other’s values, culture and religion so that ethnic and religious clashes will be a thing of the past.
The governor who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Information , Stepehen Pam, explained that “the Federal and state government will re strategize the early response mechanism operations of providing succour to the displaced in the country , stressing that we must seek better ways of forestalling our man-made and natural disasters, instead of waiting until something happens before sending relief materials.
“I therefore call on all NGOs and humanitarian organisations to continue to partner with government to ensure we have an improvement in our peace building, conflict resolution mechanism , as well as disaster mitigation and humanitarian response operations.
“As a hospitable multi ethic state, Plateau would continue to identify with the displaced in the society in order for them to have a sense of belonging and be integrated into the society.
“Let me commend Stefanos Foundation for opening up heart and hands to provide shelter , food and clothing to the IDPs especially those from the North Eastern Part of the country, where the inhuman activities of the Boko Harm terrorist organisation has rendered so many homeless”.
According to him, “I believe this humanitarian consideration by Stefanous is borne out of her mission of advocating human right respect, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction among the divergent minority ethnic people of Northern Nigeria in particular and by extension Nigeria as a whole and Africa at large”.
Also Speaking at the occasion, the Gbong Gwom Jos , and Chairman Plateau State Council of Chiefs and Emirs , Da Jacob Gyang Buba said the unfortunate security challenges that have rocked the North East geo Political Zone, has also devasted the North Central zone considerably and with the increasing clashes between Fulani Herders and farmers impacted negatively on the North West also.
Represented by Dr Jonah Madugu, the royal father said “the issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) is one of the great concerns and in as much as we sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Federal Government , the state government and various NGOs working in concert with International Communit , these palliative measures seem to be concentrated more on some areas to the neglect of others.
“There is a need for a marshall plan that must address all areas in a holistic manner
“It is for these reasons that the Plateau State Council of Chiefs and Emirs welcome this initiative and pledges not only to support the efforts of the coalition for minority rights, but work closely with you for the upholding of justice for all“.
The convener of the event, Mark Lipdo who is also the Founder of Stefanos Foundation speaking at the occasion said the NGO is a faith based Human Rights Advocacy, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction organisation, working to intervene in the ongoing ethno-religious violence in the country.
“Since the wake of violence in 2002 in Plateau, Stefanos Foundation has been working hard with several communities in Northern Nigeria. Following the outbreak of Violence in the North East, the NGO, Stefanous Foundation established an IDP camp in Zang Secondary school Bukuru and in one year, the camp has already kept over 470 families in a transit camp” he stressed.
He further revealed that over 300 families have been successfully integrated into various host communities.
In a keynote address, Professor Nnamdi Aduba of the Faculty of Law, University of Jos, called on the Federal Government to take proactive steps in alleviating the plight of IDPs in the country as the number of idle hands and psychologically traumatised people are growing by the day and could be a recipe for disaster in the near future if left unchecked.