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Boko Haram: 150,000 refugees’ve returned home— Buhari

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

ABUJA—About 150, 000 Nigerian refugees who fled the country due to Boko Haram insurgency have returned home, President Muhammadu Buhari, said yesterday.

Bama IDP Camp: Cross Section of women at Bama IDP Camp in Maiduguri during Minister’s Tour of Bama. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

The President also stated that Nigeria was guided by international best practice and standards in rehabilitating millions of  internally displaced persons, IDPs.

Buhari spoke while receiving Mr. Phillipo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at State House, Abuja.

He disclosed that Nigeria was making efforts to domesticate the Kampala Convention, which he said was binding on governments to protect the rights and well being of people forced to flee their homes by conflict.

The President lauded the military, saying their unrelenting efforts created a safe passage that made it easier to help the displaced persons, disclosing that different mechanisms had been put in place to care for the displaced in areas of nutrition, health, physical and spiritual rehabilitation, among others.

He also appreciated Nigeria’s collaboration with the United Nations in the effort to better the lots of the IDPs.

“About 150,000 refugees have also come back home from across the borders. Our sleeves are rolled up to face the challenges head-on, along with our strategic partners,” he said.

In his remarks, Grandi, who had visited Cameroun, Niger, and Chad, as part of his tour of the Lake Chad Basin region, commended what he called Nigeria’s determination to resolve the humanitarian crisis at hand.

He noted that his visit to Maiduguri, Borno State, afforded him the opportunity “to see the excellent work being done by the authorities, with the support of the international community.”

Grandi said he was leaving Nigeria with the conviction that progress had been made.

“A lot remains to be done, but I see progress. I have seen the protection given to the rights and privileges of civilians in the North-east, and it is commendable,” he said.


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