No excuse for rape, corruption in IDP camps – Saraki

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According to reports, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said increasing social injustices like rape, diversion of food items and other corruption related cases within the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps are inexcusable.

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A statement by the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Print Media, Chuks Okocha, quoted Saraki as saying this when a delegation of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees led by Mrs. Angele Dikongue-Atangana visited him at the National Assembly, Abuja, on Tuesday.

He also pledged the cooperation of the Senate to ensure quick passage of bills to help address the crisis in IDP camps across the country.

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Saraki said, “It is disheartening and heartless when you read and hear of cases of corruption in the supplies of food items; when you see cases of malnutrition and mortality in the IDPs; when you see children with cases of malnutrition and you know there can be speedy recovery; when the necessary drugs and nutritional items are provided with the necessary food items.”

He also pledged the readiness of the National Assembly to cooperate with the UNHCR in addressing the challenges facing the IDPs in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria.

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Saraki told the leader of the delegation that the fact that the Senate had no committee on the IDPs did not mean the upper chamber of the National Assembly was unmindful of its legislative duties on the IDPs.

He stated that there were committees of the Senate saddled with the responsibility of tackling poverty and its related challenges.

Saraki pledged the cooperation of the Senate to work with the House of Representatives in the passage of legislation that would enhance the welfare of the persons in the IDPs.

Saraki further pledged to help facilitate the domestication of the Kampala Convention on Statelessness and Protection of Refugees.

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Earlier, Dikongue-Atangana recounted the efforts of the UNHCR to rally support on the domestication of the Kampala Convention in the troubled regions within the country.

She announced that the UNHCR was planning a workshop for parliamentarians on the role of lawmakers in internal displacement, adding that the workshop was aimed at creating the awareness among members regarding international standards on IDPs protection and lesson learnt on parliamentary oversight of national response to internal displacement crisis.

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