The Federal Government says it is guided by international best practice and standards in rehabilitating millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) that have been spawned by the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.President Muhammadu Buhari made the affirmation at a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr Phillipo Grandi, on Monday in the State House in Abuja.
He also told the UN envoy that Nigeria was making efforts to domesticate the Kampala Convention, which legally binds governments to protect the rights and well-being of its people forced to flee their homes by conflict.
The President lauded the military, which he said had created a safe passage that had made it easier to help the IDPs.
He stated that different mechanisms had been put in place to care for the displaced persons in areas of nutrition, health, physical and spiritual rehabilitation among others.
“About 150,000 refugees have also come back home from across the borders. Our sleeves are rolled up to face the challenges head-on, along with our strategic partners,” said the President while noting that Nigeria appreciated the continued collaboration of the United Nations.
Protection Of Rights
Mr Grandi, who had visited Cameroun, Niger and Chad, as part of his tour of the Lake Chad Basin region, commended what he called “Nigeria’s determination to resolve the humanitarian crisis” at hand.
He noted that his visit to Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital, had afforded him the opportunity “to see the excellent work being done by the authorities, with support of the international community”.
The UN official said he was leaving Nigeria with the conviction that things were under control, stressing that “a lot remains to be done… but I see progress.
“I have seen the protection given to the rights and privileges of civilians in the Northeast and it is commendable,” he said.
Mr Grandi said the United Nations would always be willing to assist Nigeria with resources and the needed expertise to resettle the IDPs.
Over two million persons were displaced in the northeast in the heat of insurgency perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists.
UN agencies have called for more aid to displaced persons in the region, warning that over 75,000 were at risk of death if nutritious food did not get to them before the end of the year.