FG to Establish DNA Databank to Track Terrorists, Match Displaced Children to Parents

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•    Set to conduct DNA tests on 6, 000 IDP children

•   Working to repatriate 65000 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 from the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps, with a view to deploying it in tracking Boko Haram terrorists, and other criminal elements in the country.

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

 Onyema further disclosed that out the nearly two million internally displaced persons in Nigeria, about 6, 000 children who were aged below five had 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”.

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

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

He said that the move was one of the major issues the President of Cameroun, Paul Biya discussed with President Muhammadu Buhari during his visit to Abuja last week.

“On the human angle, we have about 65,000 refugees in Cameroun and about two million IDPs in Nigeria, which is a huge human catastrophe and about 6000 children who don’t know their parents or where they came from.  We also have the issue of environment and economic activities.

“The summit will also help us towards achieving a road map on how we want to address the issue of rebuilding, indoctrination, of how these children can to embrace the ideology,” he noted.