Refugee Day Commission urges states, wealthy Nigerians to donate to IDPs

The call was made in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Tuesday to mark the 2017 World Refugees Day.

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A young girl at an IDP camp in Riyom Local Government Area in Plateau state play

A young girl at an IDP camp in Riyom Local Government Area in Plateau state

(Bella Naija)
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The National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons has appealed to state governments, corporate organisations and wealthy Nigerians to show love by donating to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.

The South-South Zonal Coordinator of the commission, Mr Andy Ubon, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Tuesday to mark the 2017 World Refugees Day.

Ubon said that the World Refugee Day observed on June 20 each year was dedicated to raising awareness on the condition of refugees throughout the world.

He said that refugees across the country required attention and love from all people, especially from the wealthy ones in the society.

Ubon said that internally displaced persons in Akwa Ibom were in pathetic conditions that required urgent attention.

He, however, promised that very soon succour would get to the IDPs in the state as the agency had submitted a report to the commission on the true position of their welfare.

He said that the Federal Government, in spite of the economic situation had been providing relief materials to internally displaced persons across the country to alleviate their suffering.

According to him, taking care of these persons should not be left in the hands of the Federal Government alone.

“The wealthy Nigerians have a duty to always show love to the Internally Displaced Persons."

“Go down to these camps and see the kind of life your fellow human beings, brothers, sisters and children are living then show them love."

“A visit to the camps will surely convince you that these people need your help, “ ” Ubon said.

He said that after the assessment of the nine IDPs camps occupied by the Bakassi returnees in Akwa Ibom, the Federal Government, through the commission would surely give them succour.

The coordinator said that already, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that relief materials be sent to IDPs in the state to make life better for them.

“Very soon IDPs in Akwa Ibom will start feeling the impact of the present Federal Government,” Ubon said.

Also speaking with NAN, the National Coordinator of Bakassi returnees in Akwa Ibom, Mr Aston Inyang, said that returnees had been living in deplorable condition since 2008 when they returned from Cross River.

Inyang said that previous governments had not been taking care of the returnees, adding that they had been living at the mercy of the people in the community, who were mere farmers and petty traders.

“Akwa Ibom government only took care of the returnees for 14 days since they arrived in 2008."

“We have a lot of challenges in the camps because since we were brought into state in 2008, we have not been taken care of by previous governments."

“Our state government only took care of us for 14 days after that they withdrew and abandoned us,” he said.

Inyang commended the commission for directing its zonal office to visit and assess the welfare of the returnees and possible ways to alleviate their sufferings.

He said that the situation in the camp was pathetic as there was no potable water, no facilities for health and education with the women and children worse affected.

He said that due to the deplorable conditions in the camp, some of the IDPs had died.