IDPs in North-East is 5 million, not 2.1 million —Dogara


SPEAKER of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has said the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North-East has reached five million, not 2.1 million reported official figures.

Dogara, who stated this when he received the head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Ms Angel Dekonge Antangara, in his office, maintained that the actual number of people affected by Boko Haram insurgency may be close to five million.

According to him, “as an indigene of the North-East, it is safe to say the number of IDPs in Nigeria can be up to five million. The NHCR deals with symptoms of terrorism which is the displacement.”

He added that the House had passed a motion calling the attention of the executive to the plight of IDPs, with the hope of working together to bring about a lasting solution through the engagement of international donor conference for the plight of those in the North-East.

Speaking further, he said: “Terrorism is global and if not dealt with; it will spill across borders, such as the current refugee crisis facing Europe from Syria, Libya, etc,” noting that the House Committee on Public Safety and National Intelligence, when constituted, would be mandated to handle issues relating to IDPs for now.”

He added that “if overwhelmed, however, a substantive committee for IDPs will be looked into. The House is ready to partner with all relevant bodies committed to ending the evil that produce refugees, IDPs and the events of statelessness.”

On the issue of domesticating the resolutions of the refugee conventions, the Speaker said the House would partner with the Senate to ensure that those important treaties and convention were ratified through the relevant committees soon.

Speaking earlier, Ms Antangara told the Speaker that the office was providing solutions, both locally and worldwide.

The UNHCR, according to her, intervened for people termed as stateless or borderless and she was in Nigeria to look at the memorandum of understanding (MoU) UNHCR had with the country.

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