‘FG, trusted Nigerians should do more for IDPs welfare’



Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin is a women’s rights activist. She is the president Women Arise for Change Initiative and Campaign For Democracy. In this interview with GERALDINE AKUTU, she speaks on the reality on ground as it concerns insurgency, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and proffers solutions to their management in Nigeria.

The ongoing insurgency has continued to produce more displaced persons, what is your take on this?
It is a sad reality and until the war against insurgency in the North Eastern region of the country is won, we may continue to have more people displaced from their traditional homes.

What do you make of the mismanagement of Internally Displaced Persons?
It has been so many sad stories ranging from lack of shelter and basic needs and most worrisome, the corruption allegations recently trailing the management of funds provided for the welfare of these Internally Displaced Persons.

What measures do you think should be put in place to ensure that IDPs are properly managed?
I think the Federal government should take absolute responsibility for the care of these persons and a dedicated body of trusted Nigerians be put in place to oversee the welfare of these IDPs, most importantly, every mismanagement that has been attributed in the last few months must be thoroughly investigated and culprits brought to justice.

Do you think the government is doing enough in the area of fighting the insurgents?
Government is doing its best only that it isn’t good enough. Till date, the fate of the abducted Chibok girls remained unknown, more and more people are still being killed and lots being displaced. Until all these challenges are squarely tackled, government cannot be seen as making any progress.

What should they do to win this war against insurgency?
The war on terrorism will only be won when the government begins to address those factors responsible for this insurgency first. This must then be followed by an all inclusive approach that will involve the citizens in term of intelligence gathering and trust building towards phasing out these elements.

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