OrderPaperToday – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara reportedly broke down in tears when he visited Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Uhogua, Benin City, Edo State over the weekend.
In a statement released by the Speaker’s Special Adviser (Media & Public Affairs)
Turaki Adamu Hassan, the lawmaker who “was in the camp to donate relief materials to the IDPs could not hold back his tears on sighting hundreds of orphaned children that constitutes majority of people in the camp.”
According to him, Dogara appealed to spirited individuals to help meet the needs of millions of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria.
The Speaker encouraged the IDPs from Adamawa and Bornu not to lose hope, assuring them that government is doing everything possible to return them back to their communities soon.
“When I came in here I saw a people who are determined not to be broken in spite of the circumstances that surround them. I must encourage you. I am part of the region of the north where you came from. I am also affected. I had to concede one of my houses for IDPs from Yobe and Borno States to live in.”
The Speaker urged the people to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness saying “the situation we found ourselves is not just peculiar to us but has been happening in the course of human history.”
“It is painful, very painful. You may remember how you left and the people you left behind. Forty percent of you here are orphans. You may be tempted to always cast your mind back over what happened to you. Once you are stuck in that you will be filled with bitterness and anger and if that happens, you cannot make progress. I know it is difficult but we have to take our minds off it.”
He told the people to put their trust in God because “where people have trusted God there is no situation that God cannot change.”
He said some countries have passed through similar or even worse situations than theirs but with faith in God and determination they emerged stronger, citing the 1994 genocide in Rwanda as example.
Dogara told the IDPs that the present administration is committed to rebuilding the North East with parts of loots being recovered by the government.
“As long as this government endures you will always be in our heart. Thank God for the change. If we had continued like before, probably Boko Haram will have taken over Jos, Plateau State by now,” he said.
However, the Speaker said divine intervention saved the country from being taken over by Boko Haram terrorists saying, “God had mercy on us in response to our prayers and change came and we are committed to ending this violence”.
“Very soon may be in this year some of you may go back home to your communities. This is something we must do because we have no other country than Nigeria.”
He further pledged to write off the fees of hundreds children who sat for the West African Examination Council, National Examination Council, and the Joint Administration, Matriculation Examination Board.
Dogara further expressed gratitude to the people and government of Edo state for hosting the IDPs. “These our brothers and sisters travelled hundreds of kilometres and skipped communities and bye-passed many places before they settled here. That speaks to the nature of the people we have in this state. If they are not accommodating, they would not have been here. We thank Edo people.”
He said he will send more relief materials to the IDPs as this is the first line of intervention.