Saraki: Social Injustice, Corruption in IDP Camps Inexcusable

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Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, wednesday said increasing cases of social injustice such as rape, diversion of food items and other corruption related matters in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps were inexcusable.

He also pledged the cooperation of the Senate in ensuring quick passage of bills to help address the crisis of the IDPs in the country.

Saraki, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Chuks Okocha, made the remarks when the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) led by Mrs. Angele Dikongue-Atangana visited him at the National Assembly, Abuja.

“It is disheartening and heartless when you read and hear of cases of corruption in the supplies of food items, when you see cases of malnutrition and mortality in the IDPs. When you see children with cases of malnutrition and you know there can be speedy recovery when the necessary drugs and nutritional items are provided with the necessary food items,” Saraki was quoted as saying.

He pledged the preparedness of the National Assembly to cooperate with the UNCR in addressing the challenges facing various IDPs in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria.

According to the statement, Saraki told the leader of the delegation that even though the Senate had no standing or special committee on the IDPs, the upper chamber would yet be mindful of its legislative duties to the IDPs adding that some committees had been saddled with the responsibilities of tackling poverty and its related challenges.

He pledged the cooperation of the Senate and House of Representatives on a legislation that would enhance the welfare of the IDPs. He also pledged that National Assembly would help to facilitate the domestication of the Kampala Convention on Statelessness and Protection of Refugees.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mrs. Dikongue-Atangana, narrated the efforts of the UNHCR to rally support for the domestication of the Kampala convention in the troubled regions within the country.

She added that the UNHCR was planning a workshop for the parliamentarians on the role of lawmakers in internal displacement and a workshop aimed at creating the awareness among members on international standards on IDPs protection as well as the lesson learnt on parliamentary oversight of national response to internal displacement crisis.