By Laide Akinboade
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it has concluded arrangements to camp no fewer than 8828 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from neighbouring Nasarawa and Kogi States.
The Director General, FCT Emergency Management Agency, Abbas Idriss, made the disclosure after a stakeholders meeting on the camping of the IDPs in Abuja.
Idriss, who further explained that the displacement of persons was informed by communal clashes between the Ebira people of Kogi and Bassa people of Nasarawa States in four communities, added that the FCT became involved because the IDPs were taking refuge in Kwali and Abaji Area Councils of the territory, hence the imperative to properly camp, feed and secure them.
He revealed that a suitable accommodation had been found at the Senior Secondary School (a boarding school) in Dangara, Kwali Area Council where only the IDPs would be sheltered for one-month.
According to him, after the one month camping, expected to open from 1st of September and last for the whole month, the IDPs would be repatriated, hopefully to their communities of origin, in line with international law, which stipulates that reparation should be “to place of choice, voluntary and dignified.”
The Chairman of the camping committee also said that as soon as the two state governments are done with their peace efforts and camping arrangements, “we will move them to their original places of abode.”
Operations Coordinator, International Emergency and Aids Initiative, Daniel Gambo, said the right thing to be done, internationally, was not to repatriate IDPs from one camp to another camp.
Gambo, reeling out different camp rules, stated that some activities lined up ahead of the camp opening include cultural displays by people from the two states, Islamic and Christian preaching and peace-mending meetings among traditional rulers from both sides.
The Coordinator also said that the IDPs, who are predominantly farmers, would also be taught ways of preserving farm produce, basic health tips, skills acquisition, sensitisation on environmental hazards and sanitation among others.