Chris Steven, Abuja
Senate President , Bukola Saraki on Monday called for more support from Nigerians and members of the international community to tackle the incidence of child malnutrition in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the North East.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, Saraki said the Senate would do everything possible to ensure that aids meant for the IDPs get to the intended beneficiaries rather than being diverted for selfish purposes.
He reiterated the commitment of the Upper Chamber to see that IDPs in the North East and other parts of the country get adequate care, protection and ultimately resettled in their original towns and villages.
The Senate President who spoke when the Chairmen and Secretaries of 32 IDP Camps located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) visited him in Abuja, said the adhoc committee recently constituted by the Senate on the diversion of funds and aids meant for IDPs would not stop at identifying the problems but it is also expected to outline solutions going forward.
While calling on Nigerians to come together to put an end to the IDPs crisis, he called on the international community not to relent in playing their own role because it is a global problem that needed to be addressed.
Saraki said: “We must address the problem children dying of malnutrition, we must put an end to this. Country like ours have no excuse why we will not be able to address this…What is of importance to us is this issue of crisis in the IDP camps. We as a country must not see it as the problem of Borno State alone but the problem of every part of Nigeria.
“We must all work together to put an end to it. We have no excuse, we have the resources, we have people, we are committed. I am sure we can do it. The international community must also play their part and that is why the humanitarian crisis is becoming more evident such that now a lot of people can now see how bad the situation is. It now up to us as a political class to make sure we give support,” he said.
He added: “Am sure you have recently heard that we have set up an ad-hoc committee to look at what the problems are. Why are we still in this situation? The money is available. Why is the issue of diversion? Why is there not enough food in the camps?
“We are doing our best. The ad-hoc committee will be inaugurated tomorrow, we have charged them to find out, not just the people who have taken the money for their upkeep but to also provide solution, going forward, how we can make sure that Nigeria is out of this.
“Secondly, we also challenge the International community to also play their own role because this is a global problem we need to address. One of the things is that we must ensure that we reconstruct and rehabilitate as soon as possible.
“We will make sure that anything that is due to the camps, either as donation from international donors, we will make sure it compulsorily gets to them and anybody who want to stand between you and that, we are ready to fight that person. What is due to you must get to you, no matter who is involved,” he said.
Saraki who visited IDP camps in Maiduguri August 2015 and last July, also promised to visit IDP camps located in FCT soon.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Alhaji Ibrahim Adamu, thanked the Senate President for his visits to IDP camps in Maiduguri. He called on the Senate for more legislative and financial support to alleviate the sufferings of the IDPs.
“The IDPs in Gwoza want your material, financial and legislative support to weather this terrible time of recession and more importantly to go back home yo rebuild their lives,” Adamu said.