Protect the Internally Displaced; Social Action urges Government

Shelter is not only an inalienable but indeed one of the most basic needs of every human being in every given society. Social Action is therefore deeply concerned about the threat of imminent eviction facing internally displaced persons who took shelter in an unoccupied private property in WASU IDP camp in Apo District of Abuja.Written by Vivian Bellonwu, Head, Social Action Abuja

It is of note that the bulk of these persons are made up of men, women and children who lost their homes to the sustained terrorist attacks of Boko Haram in the North-Eastern Nigeria. These persons escaped from this campaign of terror with barely any basic life necessity including either, house, and clothing or related.

On the other hand, poor planning and dismal sense of responsibility has not enabled government to plan and make provision for sheltering the teeming number of people increasingly displaced by the Boko Haram attacks. The displaced persons therefore resorted to self-help, taking refuge in an unoccupied private property in a bid to shelter themselves from the harsh elements of nature.

The threat of eviction placed on/facing these IDPs should therefore be immediately withdrawn. The relevant authorities charged with disaster and displacement management including the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, the National Refugees Commission, Ministry of Social Welfare and all other related bodies should immediately put in place structures such as camps etc to shelter these IDPs and make adequate provision for food and drug supplies to these camps. Cognizance must be taken of the presence of women and children who are most vulnerable in this circumstance.

We wish to strongly remind the government that Housing is a human right and urge it act in protection of this right and discharge its responsibilities towards its citizens.

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