President Muhammadu Buhari declared
Wednesday in Abuja that the return of persons
displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency to
their home communities will begin in earnest
next year.
Speaking at an audience with a delegation
from the International Rescue Committee (IRC)
led by former British Foreign Minister, Mr.
David Miliband, President Buhari said that his
administration will do all within its powers to
facilitate the quick return and resettlement of
over two million internally displaced persons
in their towns and villages.
The President told Mr. Miliband and his
delegation that the Federal Government will
welcome the support of the IRC and other
local and international non-governmental
organizations for the rehabilitation of
internally displaced persons.
“In 2016, the return of the IDPs will start in
earnest. They will return to their communities
to meet destroyed schools and other
infrastructure which have to be rebuilt.
“With agriculture being moribund in the region
in the last two years without cropping, hunger
is already manifest. We will welcome all the
help we can get to assist the returnees, ”
President Buhari said.
Responding to a request by Mr. Miliband for
the Federal Government’s priorities as to the
nature of assistance required for the IDPs, the
President said that there was an urgent need
for support in the areas of agricultural inputs,
health, nutrition, water and sanitation.
President Buhari urged the IRC and other
international agencies to work with the
Presidential Committee on the North-East and
the National Emergency Management Agency
(NEMA) which, he said, were already doing a
lot to cater for the IDPs and restore some
basic infrastructure in communities affected by
terrorism and insurgency.
Mr. Miliband assured President Buhari that
the IRC will intensify its ongoing work in
Nigeria which has assisted over 350,000
displaced persons, mainly in Adamawa and
Borno states.
He called for an increased security presence in
recovered towns and territories, saying that
most prospective returnees still feared for their
safety on their return home.


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