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Buhari: Nigeria has over 1m displaced children who don’t know their parents

Ebunoluwa Olafusi

President Muhammadu Buhari says there are at least a million displaced Nigerian children who do not know their parents and where they are from. 

Buhari also requested for the assistance of the United Nations in rehabilitating the devastated internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps across the country.

The president spoke while hosting Maria Garces, president of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), at the state house, Abuja, on Tuesday.

The president noted that the damage to the infrastructure, particularly in the northeast, has been “horrendous”, saying every help would be invaluable.

“The assistance of the United Nations and the international community will be invaluable in reversing the devastation visited on Nigeria by the Boko Haram insurgency,” Buhari said.

“The condition of internally displaced persons ((IDPs) in the country is pathetic. We have at least a million children who neither know their parents nor where they come from.

“Bridges have been blown up, schools, hospitals, churches, mosques, and other buildings have been destroyed. All these will be rehabilitated, and every form of international help is welcome.”

On the recharge of Lake Chad through inter-basin water transfer from Congo River, the president said climate change was quite real to the region, noting that no fewer than 30 million people are negatively affected by the shrinking lake, with at least half of them being Nigerians.

He stressed the role the international community needed to play in the endeavour, “since recharging the lake was beyond the financial power of the affected countries”.

Responding, Garces commended Nigeria for being a key part of the UN system, saying the country was well respected in the global body.

“Nigeria is a major troops’ contributor to peacekeeping operations, and a major part of the human rights architecture,” she said.

She commended Buhari’s leadership of the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS), and of the Lake Chad Basin commission, pledging to call the attention of the international community to the “hurting effects” of the Lake Chad problem, and other issues raised by the president.

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