Nigeria welcomes global support for IDPs

The Nigerian Government says it will welcome any global partnership that would ensure a concerted and focused international response to the humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency in the North-eastern region of the country.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, gave this indication in Abuja, while receiving members of an international advocacy organization that raises awareness on the need to save lives, known as ONE Campaign.

The team was led to the Vice President’s office, by Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and an international Rock Star artist, Paul David, popularly called Bono.

Addressing the delegation, Professor Osinbajo noted that “it is very important that you chose to come and offer some partnership. This is great and we are pleased.Partnership is certainly the way to go.”

He said no matter how prepared a country could be, handling the kind of humanitarian crisis in the North-East with over two million displaced people including children, as a single country is a big task.

He however said a global partnership to address the situation should be coordinated and more focused on what is required to be done.

Speaking to State House Correspondents, Africa’s richest Man, Aliko Dangote said he was going into partnership with the Nigerian government and the ONE Campaign group, to raise awareness on the need to save lives.

He said the move is to help ease the burden on the Nigerian government, which he said cannot cater for the displaced persons alone.

“The whole idea is to make sure that we raise an international awareness so that we could actually partner with the government to see how we can resolve this issue of Internally Displaced Persons IDPs, not just giving them food but to make sure that the get back to their normal lives. Really no single government can take care of such a number of displaced persons alone, especially with the fall in oil prices,” the business mogul stated.

Also speaking, a member of the ONE Campaign team and lead singer of the renowned U2 rock band, Mr Paul David popularly called Bono, observed that not much has been said or written about the humanitarian crisis in the North-east.

Eye opening

Bono, who described Nigeria as an amazing country, said the ONE Campaign stepped in, to give the displaced persons a new lease of life.

“I had an eye opening time up in Borno, when I visited the displaced  persons in Borno, together with Aliko Dangote, who took me there because he felt that the international community needs to understand the challenges that North-East Nigeria is facing There hasn’t been much written about it in America or Europe and really people don’t
understand what 2 million displaced persons means,” he said.

Describing what he saw in Borno, Bono said: “Towns have been turned to rubbles, villages are gone and no hoes to return to, even with the successes the Nigerian military have recorded in the war against insurgency, they can’t go home because    there are no homes now.

We are partnering because Nigeria is an amazing country and the government is doing its best to address the situation there.”

Bono also commended the social investment programmes of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, adding that the level of transparency already seen in the administration is both “very exciting and transforming.”

The ONE campaign founded in 2004, is an advocacy organization with more than seven million people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases especially in Africa.

It has on its board people like Mo Ibrahim, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and Aliko Dangote, among others.

The delegation to the Vice President’s office included former UK Development Secretary Douglas Alexander.