Aisha Buhari initiates support for Lake Chad refugees

Timothy Choji, Abuja

Aisha Buhari, wife of the President, and her counterpart from neighbouring Niger Republic have both expressed concern over the plight of refugees within the Lake Chad Basin.

This worrisome development informed the decision of the two mothers to mobilize stakeholders, for greater attention to the plight of the refugees in the area, who are mostly women and children.

Matching her words with action, Mrs Buhari recently dispatched a technical committee from her office, led by the First Lady of Kebbi State, North-West Nigeria, Mrs Zainab Bagudu to Niger, to interact with a similar committee from Niger on how best to address the problem.

Action Plan

At the meeting, the two committees looked at how to develop the concept, as they put up a concrete plan of action billed to be discussed during the upcoming official meeting of the first ladies, slated for December 5-7.

The technical committees of the two countries agreed to widen the scope of their intervention to include Mali, Benin Republic and Burkina Faso, to address the humanitarian challenge in parts of those countries who also share borders with the Lake Chad Basin.

The Nigerian team had on arrival briefed the President of Niger, Mr Mahamadou Yousufu, who pledged his support to the initiative of the two First Ladies in bringing succour to refugees in the Lake Chad Basin countries.

They also paid a courtesy visit on the First Lady of Niger, Dr Malika Yousufu.

Mrs Buhari, it would be recalled, has been in the forefront of Advocacy on Special Attention to the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons and victims of insurgency through her pet project, “Future Assured “.

Some Nigerians have benefited from the project receiving relief materials, medical outreach and the “GET INVOLVED ” initiative .

On her part, the First Lady of Niger Dr Malika Yousufu also has a similar ongoing initiative targeted at empowering women and children in Niger Republic.