6 February 2016
Nigeria is not new to civil unrest and its increasing degenerating effect on the country as a whole. Civil wars, political unrests, power struggles and other politically motivated aggressions have usually and without a doubt affected the lives of those living within those circumstances.
The importance of knowing the rate at which people get internally or externally displaced should be taken into serious consideration as this phenomenon breeds destitute, who are barely able to survive the aftermath of war and violence, induced or organic. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria according to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 60 million people were counted as forcibly displaced in 2014 in the world including countries like Syria (accounting for the most at about 11 million displaced persons), Iraq, and South Sudan amongst others. In Nigeria, it has been reported that over 2.1 million citizens out of 170 million Nigerians are internally displaced persons (IDPs), representing more than 300,000 households in parts of northern Nigeria (International Organisation for Migration).
The question about the growth of IDP in Nigeria ceases to be when Nigeria will find a solution, but how
Many of these IDPs are left to reside in camps and camp-like sites where they lack basic needs; food, shelter, and other non-clothing items required for living a fulfilling life. The insurgencies worthy of mentioning including the recent terrorist attacks by the Boko Haram sect have largely contributed to the increasing number of indisposed persons in Nigeria and the effects that cut across demographical issues such as unmitigated migrations and population problems to urban areas such as Lagos, the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the country. Of course, the causes of internal displacement are not limited to conflicts and violence, but also includes natural disaster such as forest fires, floods, climate change, poverty, weak governance and political instability, to mention a few, some of these trigger the conflicts and violence as is mostly the case in many parts of the world.
- The procedures, system and guideline for assistance and protection of IDPs in Nigeria currently are: –
- National Disaster Response Plan approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2002
- Search and Rescue and Epidemic Evacuation Plan signed by 44 Chief Executives
- National Disaster Management Framework (NDMF)
- National Contingency Plan.
How much these have helped, or how effective they have been, is being put to the test almost consistently in Nigeria in the past decade. This is because the figures for IDPs have risen from about 1.1million in 2014 to about 3.3million in 2015 according to international statistics. The primary responsibility of the government is to provide a suitable framework that answers to the question of the IDP.
The IDP phenomenon is a global issue; however, with the rapid growth of the Nigerian population, one would think that being rich in mineral, land and human resources would help to figure out a quick solution to this climbing problem. The question about the growth of IDP in Nigeria ceases to be when Nigeria will find a solution, but how.
Of a truth, the government alone cannot do everything, and there has been very good effort from the private sector, especially individuals and faith organizations. So much has been done, but there is much more to do, we can support organizations that already do this, while the government figures out the lasting solution to this wound of the nation.