19th February, 2016
Nigerians in the North-East have been commended for their neighborliness and accommodating nature towards Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in their communities.
Making the commendation earlier today, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, noted that even though the insurgents still create a sense of fear, many Nigerians are aware and are “doing their bit to accommodate the IDPs. He said on its part the federal government is also committed to many of the initiatives put in place to address the situation of the North-East region of the country.
Although there are economic challenges currently in the country, Prof. Osinbajo said the Buhari administration is determined to restore the infrastructure, de-mine farmlands and make the affected communities safe and habitable again.
Some of the initiatives in place include the Safe Schools Initiative, Victims Support Fund, VSF, Presidential Initiative on North East, PINE, among others. Those initiatives are now structured under the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiatives, PCNI, for which President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed General T.Y. Danjuma (rtd) to lead.
According to the Vice President, the federal government is deeply committed to the recovery and rehabilitation of the North-Eastern region and will require the continued support of the United Nations in the effort.
Speaking today during a meeting with a delegation from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Vice President commended the UN agency for its assistance so far.
“We are looking forward to much more assistance from the UNHCR,” Prof. Osinbajo told the team led by Mr. Volker Turk, the Assistant High Commissioner, while also acknowledging that the agency has done a lot. But he added that there is still a long way to go.
Observing that the situation especially with the IDPs in the North-East presented an enormous ongoing challenge, the VP said the UNHCR is “peculiarly equipped to deal with this kind of situation.”
“We urge the UNHCR to work with us as closely as possible on the resettlement and rehabilitation of IDPs,” the VP said.
In his remarks, Mr. Turk while offering the government the continued collaboration of the UN agency, stated that it is the aim of the UNHCR to support and assist the Nigerian government on how to create the space for IDPs’ return to their communities with safety, dignity and sustainability.
Also today the Vice President received a delegation from the Nigerian Association of Nephrologists led by its president, Prof. B.L Salako. The association requested that the federal government should assist in the provision of drugs for victims of kidney disease and also work with the group to standardize dialysis treatment and kidney transplants in the country.
The Vice President responded stating the importance of nephrology in medical practice and expressed government’s readiness to explore options on how to make the drugs readily available. He lamented that there are people who even don’t know they need dialysis, while many others die because they could not afford the treatment. The VP said the Buhari administration will work with the association to address this situation.