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Saraki Fumes Over Sèxual Assault At IDP Camps

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By Ebitonye Akpodigha

Nigeria’s Senate President, Mr Bukola Saraki, has condemned reports that of assault on those at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Nigeria, saying the act is inexcusable.

Speaking on Tuesday when the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) led by Mrs Angele Dikongue-Atangana visited him at the National Assembly in Abuja, the Senate President frowned at the increasing cases of social injustices like ràpe, diversion of food items and other corruption related cases within the camps.

Mr Saraki pledged the cooperation of the Senate in ensuring the quick passage of bills to help address the crisis of the IDPs in the country.

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“It is disheartening and heartless when you read and hear of cases of corruption in the supplies of food items, when you see cases of malnutrition and mortality in the IDPs. When you see children with cases of malnutrition and you know there can be speedy recovery when the necessary drugs and nutritional items are provided with the necessary food items,” he said.

He pledged the readiness of the National Assembly to cooperate with the UN Commission for Refugees in addressing the challenges facing the various IDPs in the Middle belt region of Nigeria.

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Mr Saraki told the leader of the delegation that despite the fact that the Senate has no committee on the Internally Displaced Persons did not mean that the upper chamber is unmindful of its legislative duties in the IDPs, explaining that there are committees of the Senate that are saddled with the responsibilities of tackling poverty and its related challenges.

He pledged the cooperation of the Senate to work with the House of Representatives in the passage of legislation that would enhance the welfare of the persons in the IDPs.

Mr Saraki also pledged to help facilitate the domestication of the Kampala Convention on Statelessness and Protection of Refugees.

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Earlier, leader of the delegation, Mrs Dikongue-Atangana, told recounted the efforts of the UNHCR to rally support on the domestication of the Kampala convention in the troubled regions within the country.

She added that the UNHCR is planning a workshop for the parliamentarians on the role of law makers in internal displacement for the Senate and that the workshop is aimed at creating the awareness among members regarding international standards on IDP protection and lesson learnt on parliamentary oversight of national response to internal displacement crisis.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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