Dogara wants executive bill on displaced persons
THE Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to pass on an Executive Bill to domesticate the 2012 African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Africa as a lasting and sustainable solution.
Speaking at a sensitisation workshop on “Internal Displacement Challenges in Nigeria”, Dogara said, “Consistent with the pledge of the 8th House of Representatives legislative agenda, the House would give priority to matters concerning IDPs.”
The workshop, which is an initiative of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was organised in collaboration with National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) and the House Committee on IDPs, Refugees and North East Initiatives.
In her remark, the Director General NILS, Dr. Ladi Hamalai, reiterated the Institute’s support to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Nigeria. She lauded UNHCR’s commitment to the clarion call towards the protection of human dignity through several channels such as advocacy for protection of refugees, reduction of statelessness, repatriation of refugees among others.
While commending the Chairman, Sani Zorro and Members of House Committee on IDPs, Refugees and North East Initiatives, Dr. Hamalai called on other committees of the House to take full advantage of the facilities and resources that NILS provides, to enrich their committee’s objectives.
Earlier, the UNHCR Representative for Nigeria and ECOWAS, Angele Dikongue-Atangana commended the shared concerns and commitment of the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives towards the actualisation of national policies on Internally Displaced Persons, noting that IDP could lead to humanitarian crisis of unimaginable proportion, not just in Nigeria but the entire region if not tackled.
It would be recalled that Nigeria was one of the first countries to ratify the African Union Convention on the Protection and Assistance for IDPs otherwise known as the Kampala Convention in 2012.
The event, which also witnessed the formal presentation of IPU/UNHCR Handbook for Parliamentarians was attended by Lady Onyeka Onwenu, Director General, Women Development Centre, members of the National Assembly, Non-Governmental Organisations and other stakeholders.