BY UMAR YUSUF, YOLA
Efforts by the Federal, States and Local Governments, non governmental Organisations and the International Community to resettle the displaced people of the North East displaced by the Boko Haram Insurgents have started yielding fruits
Hundreds of thousands of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDP,s have remained in camps in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states among other states since insurgency started in the region.
Many of the displaced persons have been yearning to return to their homes, many of which have been destroyed beyond repairs, even as some are undergoing construction by the owners, government agencies, voluntary Organisations and multi national bodies.
There is no doubt the displaced persons are home sick as they continue to insist that no amount of relief materials given to them to cushion their suffering will be as important to them as returning to their homes.
They therefore continued to pray and press for them to return one day to their ancestral homes where their forefathers were laid to rest .
It seems the cries of the displaced persons were being answered by God, as their tears are gradually being wiped by the government, the multinationals, non governmental bodies and the International Community.
Only recently no fewer than fifty families of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s), are now owners of permanent houses built by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and ECOWAS in conjunction with the Nigerian Government in Maiha Local government Area of Adamawa State.
Speaking at the commissioning cermony of the project, the Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Martins Babale commended UNHCR for providing the IDPs with permanent shelter, saying the gesture had reduced the suffering they encountered.
Martin Babale said UNHCR which is an agency of the United Nations responsible for the protection of refugees and IDPs had in 2016 embarked on the construction of accommodation for this set of people who required such.
The Deputy Governor added that the initiative which began two years ago has yielded positive results hence the provision of the houses to 50 families in Maiha Local Government Area of the State, even as the beneficiaries cut across all the strata of the states ravaged by insurgency in the North East.
While commending UNHCR for reaching out to the IDPs, Martin Babale enjoined the beneficiaries to be law abiding and remain useful citizens to the government of Nigeria.
He particularly commended the people of Maiha Local Government for their hospitality in accepting to accommodate those who will be sheltered at the centre.
The Deputy Governor however pleaded with the United Nations and other supporting agencies to always consider the host communities by giving the needed support and protection, assuring that government will ensure that all rights and privileges due to the citizens are accorded the inhabitants of the centre.
Speaking earlier, the UNHCR representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Antonio Jose Chanhandu said the agency has over the years executed their programmes according to its mandate to support the people of Adamawa State and the entire country who have been devastated by insurgency and other calamities.
Mr Antonio Chanhandu said the return of the IDPs to the state was observed to be peculiar in nature considering the fact that both the federal, state and other related agencies are making efforts in facilitating their return to their ancestral homes.
According to him, “the agency took a proactive decision as there are over three thousand of them who returned without actually having any means of livelihood not to talk of accommodation”.
The UNHCR Country Representative appreciated the effort of the State Government towards the realization of the project, saying the beneficiaries were selected through screening process by local and state government officials who considered the most vulnerable families.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Maiha Local Government Council represented by his Head of Administration, Ibrahim Mohammadu Waziri commended UNHCR and the State Government for choosing Maiha to host the IDPs and promised to accept them as their own.
Waziri however solicited for assistance in the provision of social amenities as the available amenities will be overstretched with the arrival of the IDPs.