House Of Reps Speaker Donates Bags Of Rice To IDPs In Maiduguri
The speaker of the House of Representatives has donated 1,200 bags of rice to internally displaced persons (IDPs) of almost 32,000 that inhabit the camp along Gubio Road in Maiduguri
Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, who made the donation during a visit to Maiduguri to assess the conditions of the IDPs, said the Federal Government was more than committed to ensure that all IDPs were reunited with their families.
He said, “We have brought our little token of support, which is two trucks of rice, that is 1,200 bags of riceý,” stressing, “It’s not even near enough, but they say little drops of water makes an ocean.
“We will continue to provide whatever we can provide to support you, most importantly, legislation. I want to thank you again for receiving us,” he said.
The speaker, who expressed displeasure over the condition at the IDPs’ camp, said: “Hajj camps and even refugee camps were meant to be a stop-gap measure, not a permanent sight as it may fast be approaching here.
“It is our responsibility as a government to make sure that the almost 32,000 that inhabit this camp are gradually reduced and resettled back to their families and their homes in a not-too-distant future. We are here to give encouragement on the little succour we can as government and to see what we can do using the instrumentality of the law to address issues that concern internally displaced persons.
“I believe that not just before the eyes of God, but even in law all men are created equal, and there is equality before the law. The way we will treat ourselves, our families, our friends and those in our homes is the same way we should treat those who by misfortune or fate or by the situation of their lives find themselves internally displaced. The internally displaced should not and must not at any point in any country become a permanent part of our lexicon.
“It is important that we know the condition under which these young children, mothers, and fathers are living. It is important that we know whether the ministry of education has a role to play here, whether their education is suffering, what is the ratio of teacher to students here if there are any?
“If that does not meet required standards in any developing or developed nation, then as a National Assembly and as a government, we must deal with that situation. That’s why we’re here today to make sure that all is well. All can never be well if anybody is living in a camp; to make sure that as best as possible, the government plays its role in making sure the welfare of those who are in camps is taken care of.”
The speaker, who maintained that the Federal Government was more than committed to ensure that all IDPs were reunited with their families, urged all the internally displaced persons to keep hope alive that government came in in order to support them.
“Government will do whatever it needs to do to make sure that whatever you are going through now in a very not-too-distant future will be a thing of the past,” he said.
Gbajabiamila, accompanied by some principal officers of the House, including House leader Alhassan Ado Doguwa; chief whip, Mohammed Tahir Monguno; minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, among others, ýassured the IDPs that the House would come up with legislation that would put them in good stead.
The Borno governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, thanked the speaker for the visit and the magnanimity shown in donating the rice to the IDPs.
He identified the demand of the people to include: security, reconstruction and resettlement so that they could go back home and start means of livelihood.
“I wish to express my profound appreciation to the speaker and his entourage for the contribution they have made to the people of Bornoand, indeed to the displaced communities of Borno. What matters is not the quantum of what you have donated but the spirit behind it.” Zulum added.