Boko Haram: FG to Establish DNA Databank to Track Terrorists, Criminals

•Set to conduct DNA tests on 6,000 IDP children to match parents
•Working to repatriate 65,000 refugees from Cameroun
By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

The Federal Government has expressed its desire to‎ establish a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) national data-bank, starting with the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

This is with a view to deploying the databank in tracking Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal elements in the country.

This was disclosed on Friday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, during a briefing on the sidelines of the ongoing 2nd Regional Security Summit in Abuja.

He further disclosed that out the nearly two million internally displaced persons in Nigeria, about 6, 000 children who are aged below five have been separated from their parents, adding that such a databank would also help to track their parents.

He said; “We have within the country nearly two million internally displaced persons, a real tragedy which we have to address.

“We also have about 6, 000 children under the age of five who are separated from their parents and homes. We have to look at how to address that human catastrophe.”

“What we are looking at is the use of DNA to try and match those children with parents. The DNA data-bank is really what we are looking at. And we could ultimately extend the data-bank to the whole country because we know that for a lot of countries, it is through their comprehensive DNA data-bank that they use in tracking terrorists and that is also going to help us in intelligence gathering”, he added.

Speaking further, Onyema said that the summit would also institute a post-conflict development programme, and as well put in place, mechanisms that would ensure that the military gains in the North East are consolidated through civil programmes by winning the hearts of the people through reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs.

The minister said that efforts are being made with the Government of Cameroun to bring back over 65,000 officially recognised refugees in the country.