By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA— The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has asked the Federal Government to come to the aid of over 4,723 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, it said were abandoned at various locations in Taraba State.
Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, made the call, weekend, after he visited Taraba State in continuation of his tour of north eastern states to assess the state of camps and facilities currently hosting IPDs.
Angwe, who described the situation of IDPs he met in Taraba State as “highly deplorable” said there was need for a quick intervention by the Federal Government.
He said the situation in Taraba State was highly deplorable and required urgent attention.
The executive secretary noted that despite the fact that most of the IDPS have spent well over two years in their settlements, neither the government nor relevant agencies showed concern about their plights.
At Gullong, one of the settlements with over 259 IDPs, the executive secretary observed that there were no foodstuffs, mattresses, provision of security or medical facilities for the displaced persons and their children.
He said: “The children were roaming about without any form of education programme. The government of Taraba State and indeed relevant agencies have obligations and responsibilities to protect and provide for these people because they are Nigerian citizens. Things cannot be allowed to continue this way.”
Angwe called on the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to move in immediately and help the situation while he promised to liaise with Presidential Initiatives on IDPs to intervene and bring succour to the IDPS.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency, Taraba, Nugalga Dan-Habu disclosed that the state Government was not aware of the presence of the IDPS whom he said integrated themselves with their host communities. He promised to intimate the Governor about the issue.
The leader of the Gullong IDPS settlement, Emmanuel Bulus, while conducting the Executive Secretary and NEMA Inspection Team round the centre disclosed that apart from NGOs and some Faith-Based organisations that support them, the IDPS in the Camp have remained on their own. He said they have not witnessed any government support or presence Professor Angwe promised to return to Taraba State to see whether there has been any positive action taken to redress the situation.