Tackle issues surrounding insurgency, ECOWAS tells Nigeria
BY DUMEBI ONYEMAECHI
Parliament has appealed to Nigeria to put measures in place to address the issue that surround insurgency in the Northeast.
Mr Ibrahim Sadiq, Chairman, ECOWAS Parliament delegation to Northeast Nigeria, made the appeal when he presented the report on the fact finding mission to the region.
At the plenary on Friday in Abuja, he also urged the government to tackle issues that border on climate change to find solution to environmental challenges it posed.
He said although government made efforts to create access in the place to facilitate return of people to their homes; humanitarian challenges were enormous for those returning.
According to him, the biggest challenge in Gwoza; is the high number of people returning to the area, and they have no water, no toilet facilities and no rooms for them to sleep in.
“We saw the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) erecting a lot of tents, but because there is no road to Gwoza, a lot of the roads had been blocked.
“The road from Maiduguri to Bama had been blocked and Yola has been blocked, there was no way water could reach the IDPs there and if there is no drinking water, there is no sanitation.
“Such can lead to diseases, we also went to Banki, border between Nigeria and Cameroon and the Nigerian IDP Camp is more vulnerable to the insurgent group than the Cameroonian.
“I will recommend that Nigeria do not return to where it was before on this issue of insurgency.
“There are other issues of climate change, Lake Chad receding from 25, 000 km to about 2500km of the lake that is a very serious environmental challenge that should be addressed’’.
He identified high poverty levels, insufficient food supply, malnutrition, inadequate medical assistance and limited access to secondary education as some of the findings by the delegation.
He recommended that there should be access to land for IDPs and returnees to ensure sustainable farming, regular and sufficient supply of food to prevent malnutrition.
He urged government to liaise with humanitarian community, to facilitate and tackle medical cases, provide durable shelter and subsidise secondary school education for IDPs in camps.
He, however, suggested that there should be continuous joint fact finding to Damask (Nigeria), Diffa and Tillaberi (Niger) and Gao (Mali), to ensure access to information on conditions of refugees and IDPs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presentation of the report was on side-line of the First Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Parliament which started from May 10 to 30.
NAN also reports that the report was based on the UN Refugee Agency – ECOWAS Parliament fact finding mission to the north-east Nigeria.
The high point of the parliamentary session was the presentation and adoption of the report by the ECOWAS Parliament. (NAN)