Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja said his administration would restore confidence of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the government by fast-tracking their voluntary return, rehabilitation and reintegration into the society.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president spoke on the fate of the IDPs while receiving the outgoing Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Asharaf Abdelkader Salama, at the State House.
Buhari commended Egypt for identifying with challenges confronting the country, especially the plight of IDPs, which he said, remained a top most priority for the Nigerian government.
“The displaced persons want to go back to their homes. They want to resume their normal lives. They want to go back to the land, which they have not cultivated for over three years now.
“We will work to restore their confidence, and also work on infrastructure, so that they can quickly resettle,” Buhari said.
The president noted that the bond of friendship between Nigeria and Egypt was very strong as demonstrated in their growing cooperation on regional and international issues.
In his remarks, Salama, who spent four years in Nigeria, said he was the first foreign diplomat to travel by road from Maiduguri to Yobe State, North-eastern Nigeria, last month.
He told the president that he was proud to have made the journey through an area once considered a stronghold of Boko Haram terrorists, following the successes recorded by the Nigerian military fighting insurgents in the region.
He described the people of Nigeria as “friendly and generous,” saying he hoped to be back in the country again.
Also yesterday, Buhari received the outgoing ambassadors of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Tanzania.
During the audience with Ambassador Oubi Bachir of SADR, Buhari reiterated Nigeria’s support for Sahrawi people’s self-determination and independence.
Bachir’s duty tour to Nigeria spanned eight years during which he served as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
On Tanzania, Buhari told the High Commissioner, Daniel Ole Njoolay, that the East African country was fortunate to have a leader who cared so much for the less-privileged in the society.
The president said Tanzania is blessed with good land and gas, which could be used for the good people of the country.
Njoolay spent two years and eight months in the country.