Do not force IDPs to return home, UN tells FG

by Azeez Adeniyi

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday warned the Federal Government against forcefully closing the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the North East.

UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Edward Kallon said this at a breakfast meeting with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.

Kallon said the IDPs should not be forced to return to their various communities.

He added that schools and hospitals were not functional when he recently visited Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

He also said the IDPs had nothing to eat.

Kallon stated, “I would like to urge the authorities to ensure the return of people to their homes are safe and voluntary, well-informed, based on up-to-date and accurate information on their homes of origin and respect people’s dignity.

“We cannot force people to go back when there is nothing for them; there should be no forced return.

“There should be no arbitrary closure of camps without guarantee of safety, access to basic services, critical infrastructure and humanitarian assistance.”

He said most of the basic amenities like electricity were already destroyed by terrorists.

He added, “So, you can imagine how long it will take people to have light except we have miracles of clean energy because this requires major investment; bridges were blown off, houses were destroyed.

“People are returning to nothing, that is the harsh reality, but when you are in the centre of the state, besides those you see in the city, you will not see these ugly faces I am describing to you.

“But as you get into the hinterland, where the average Nigerians are living, then, you can see the hardship and suffering of the people.”

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