By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has reiterated the determination of the government to address various challenges facing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.
Speaking during his outreach programme at the Durumi IDP Camp, Abuja on Thursday where he donated food and sanitary items to the Durumi and Kuchigoro IDP camps, the Speaker urged the displaced persons not to despair, saying they have not been forgotten and would not be left behind.
Represented by his Special Assistant on IDPs, Hamzat Ibrahim Baba, Gbajabiamila donated over three hundred bags of rice, cartons of edible vegetable oil, cartons of noodles, packs of sanitizers, bags of facemasks, among other items.
He said: “We are here to extend the arms of fellowship to our brothers and sisters who, in flight from conflict and deprivation, have come to find a measure of peace in the protection of this camp.
“We have come bearing gifts, which we hope will in some small way help to improve the circumstances of life for all those who are resident in this camp. But more than that, we have come bearing assurances that you have not been forgotten and you will not be left behind.
“The Speaker has made a commitment of his time in office to ensure a return to productive livelihood for all citizens of Nigeria who have suffered the misfortune of being forced to choose between dying at home and running away to survive.
“I assure you of his determination to succeed in that endeavour.
“Allow us the honour of spending the day with you as brothers and sisters, and may God bless and keep us all through the challenges of the present times”.
In his response, the coordinator/spokesman of Abuja-based IDPs, Idris Ibrahim Halidu, while commending the gesture of the Speaker noted that Gbajabiamila is the first lawmaker to remember IDPs in Abuja since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Speaker has been around for a long time and we know him, he is not a bench warmer; he has been very active and proactive. He is the first to remember us since the outbreak of this pandemic.
“As we thank him for this kind gesture, we implore him to help to resuscitate the IDPs Bill. It passed second reading in the 8th National Assembly but could not go further. We want to encourage him to assist in revisiting the Bill”, he said.
On her part, the Women Leader of IDPs said: “We give God the glory, and we want to thank the Speaker from the depth of our hearts because since the outbreak of this disease, when we heard that the Speaker was coming to our camp, we have been so excited and we are not disappointed when he eventually arrived here.
“He did not only bring food to us, but he also remembered us about this disease that is killing people. We IDPs will continue to pray for him, for his family and his position.
“I can only advise other people in government and high places to also remember us during this hard times just like Speaker Gbajabiamila”.