- Tasks West African parliamentarians on unity
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, monday called on Germany and Saudi Arabia to support Nigeria’s efforts in tackling the humanitarian crisis in the North-east, especially in providing for and resettling the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area.
Saraki made the plea during separate bilateral meetings he held with the German and Saudi delegation at the sidelines of the ongoing 135th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva Switzerland.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, the Senate President also called for unity and closer collaboration among West African parliamentarians aimed at giving them a stronger voice on issues at the international level.
Saraki specifically told the German delegation led by the Vice President of the German Bundestag, Claudia Roth, that Nigeria has recorded tremendous success in curtailing the activities of Boko Haram but needs the support of the international community to cater for, rebuild the area and resettle the IDPs.
He also pledged the support of the National Assembly for the proposition by Germany to achieve a ceasefire in the ongoing crisis in Aleppo, Syria.
“Our military success in the North-east has exposed a large scale humanitarian issues that we need to urgently address. We have about 4.5million IDPs in North-east. Much as we will support you in your proposition of a ceasefire in Aleppo, we want you to also support us in drawing the world’s attention to the dire humanitarian situation in North-east Nigeria. The level of funds we are getting from international partners is low compared to the crisis we face,” Saraki said.
While meeting with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s delegation led by the Vice Speaker of the Ash-Shura Council, Mohammad Amin Ahmad Al Jefri, Saraki called for greater cooperation between the two countries in the area of fighting insurgency and rehabilitation of IDPs in Nigeria.
Earlier, Claudia Roth said Germany which has spent much resources to fight humanitarian crisis in Africa, plans to demand a global debate and discussion on the issues of refugees and IDPs at the on-going IPU Assembly in Geneva and seeks Nigeria’s backing all the way.
Also at an informal meeting with leaders and lawmakers from West African countries including Togo, Senegal, Ghana, Benin Republic and Mali, Saraki stressed the need for cooperation and unity among the West Africa bloc of the Africa Geopolitical Group of the IPU.
Saraki who initiated the meeting, said such cooperation and closer relationship would lead to better understanding among members and give the West African bloc a stronger voice in global issues being raised at the IPU.
“Let us get together. It will help us a great deal in our work and give us a stronger voice on international issues. It will also help us to contribute meaningfully to the development of our subregion,” he said.
The lawmakers commended Saraki for the initiative and called for the appointment of a member of the group to coordinate the efforts.
Newly elected Vice President of the African Geopolitical Group of the IPU and Senator representing Kano South, Kabiru Gaya, was later mandated to coordinate the group.