FG Warns against Diversion of IDPs’ Relief Materials

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The Federal Government has warned against the diversion of relief materials meant for the Internally Displaced Persons of Bakassi in Cross River and other parts of the country.
Mrs Sadiya Umar-Farouq, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons, gave the warning on Sunday at the IDPs camp in Akpabuyo local government area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Umar-Farouq visited the camp to flag-off the commencement of Emblematic Distribution of Care-Maintenance and Empowerment items to Persons of Concerns in Cross River.
NAN reports that hundreds of Bakassi refugees including women and children gathered to receive food items such as rice, beans, maize and non-food items including sewing machines, mattresses and cooking stoves that were brought by the commission.
Umar-Farouq said that the Federal Government was determined to step up efforts of rehabilitation and re-integration of IDPs and returnees in the country, adding that the diversion of distributed items would not be condoned.
She called on state governments to place premium on improving their support to IDPs and returnees in their localities.
“We gather here today to flag-off the distribution of these items to target beneficiaries. This further demonstrates Federal Government’s commitment to promote the interest of the vulnerable.
“It is anticipated that these items will go a long way in ameliorating the pains and heal the wounds of the victims.
“While we look forward to a stronger collaboration, there is need for state governments to consider improving support to IDPs and returnees as a first responder.
“We will not tolerate any diversion of these items because the federal government is determined to step up efforts of rehabilitation and re-integration of IDPs and returnees in the country
“The items are distributed to provide respite, succour, hope, relief, assurance and to demonstrate government’s commitment to the plights of the IDPs and returnees’’, she said.
In his remarks, Governor Ben Ayade, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Tina Agbor, said the state has recently witnessed several challenges as a result of the unprecedented influx of refugees from Southern Cameroon.
“Our border communities presently accommodate thousands of Southern Cameroonian refugees that have placed challenges on us.
“We have ultimately provided relief materials to them. It is hoped that your visit will ginger more commitment to the plight of the people to address the challenges’’, Ayade said.
Mr Etim Okon-Ene, the IDPs camp leader, thanked the federal government for the relief materials.
Okon-Ene appealed to the state and federal governments for the provision of a security post and a healthcare centre for the IDPs.
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