Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria is guided by international best practices and standards in rehabilitating millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari spoke while receiving Mr. Phillipo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees yesterday at the State House.
Buhari told his guest that Nigeria was making efforts to domesticate the Kampala Convention, which legally binds governments to protect the rights and well-being of people forced to flee their homes by conflict.
The president commended the military for creating a safe passage that had made it easier to help the displaced persons.
He disclosed that different mechanisms had been put in place to care for the displaced, in areas of nutrition, health, physical and spiritual rehabilitation, among others.
“About 150,000 refugees have also come back home from across the borders. Our sleeves are rolled up to face the challenges head-on, along with our strategic partners, “ the president said, adding that Nigeria appreciated the continued collaboration of the United Nations.
Grandi, who had visited Cameroun, Niger, and Chad, as part of his tour of the Lake Chad Basin region, commended what he called “Nigeria’s determination to resolve the humanitarian crisis” at hand, noting that his visit to Maiduguri, in Borno State, afforded him the opportunity “to see the excellent work being done by the authorities, with support of the international community.”
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said he was leaving Nigeria with the conviction that things were under control, stressing: “A lot remains to be done, but I see progress. I have seen the protection given to the rights and privileges of civilians in the North-east, and it is commendable.”
Grandi said the UN would always be willing to assist Nigeria with resources and the needed expertise to resettle displaced persons.