Dogara weeps over prevalence of orphans at IDPs camp
Says looted funds will be used to rebuild North East
SPEAKER of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday wept when he visited Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Uhogua, Benin City, Edo State.
The Speaker, who was in the camp to donate relief materials to the IDPs could not hold back tears on sighting hundreds of orphaned children that constitute majority of people in the camp.
Dogara also appealed to individuals to help meet the needs of millions of displaced persons in Nigeria.
He made the call in Benin City when he visited thousands of displaced persons from Adamawa and Borno states.
This was contained in a statement issued by his spokesman, Turaki Hassan.
The Speaker encouraged them not to lose hope, assuring them that government was 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,” he admonished.
“I am from 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: “It is very painful. You may remember how you left and the people you left behind. Forty per cent 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 can’t make progress. I know it is difficult but we have to take our minds off it.”
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 monies 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 would have taken over Jos, Platuea State by now,” he said.
He pledged to pay the fees of children who sat for the West African Examinations Council, National Examinations Council, and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Examination Board.
He commended the Pastor of the church hosting the displaced persons, Solomon A. Olorunsho, for caring for their needs, praying that God will multiply his ministry.