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UNHCR commends Nigeria for playing host to 61,000 refugees amidst enormous crises

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UNHCR commends Nigeria for playing host to 61,000 refugees amidst enormous crises

Despite Nigeria’s vast humanitarian crises it is also playing host to over 61,000 refugees and assylum seekers from neighbouring countries, the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR has disclosed.
The Agency’s representative to Nigeria Chansar Kapaya made the disclosure recently at  a stakeholders meeting on implementing the Global Compact on Refugees held over the weekend.
Most of the refugees and asylum seekers came in from neighbouring Cameroon in escaping from political tensions in the Northwest of the country since 2017.

Kapaya indicated that UNHCR working with the Government of Nigeria continued to record hundreds of arrivals every month.
She said,
“The country also hosts some 4300 some urban refugees assylum seekers living in various urban centres in Nigeria, mainly from the DRC, CAR, Cameroun, syria, Mali, Ivory Coast to mention but a few.
“In addition Nigeria faces a protracted humanitarian crises in the North East Nigeria, particularly in the three States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe which has lasted over a decade with high rate of violence and displacements due to the insurgency activities
“It has continued to create new emergencies, despite the significant scale up of humanitarian responses since 2016 and more internally displaced persons have been forcefully made.
She said it has recorded over 2m displaced persons and another 300, 000 Nigerians displaced internally that have sought refuge in the neighbouring lake chad basin or cameroun, chad and Niger.

According to her, “It would be recalled that Nigeria faces complex Humanitarian challenges but the fact is it has been a generous host country to refugees seeking assylum for decades from within the region and far beyond.”
She said Nigeria has been providing a safe haven and access to essential life saving basic services for the refugees adding that the refugees are predominantly in the South South, Cross Rivers, Taraba.
She said the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) was an attempt by the United nations general assembly in 2018 to bring about an act of solidarity recognizing the international Community shared responsibility for protecting, assisting and finding solutions to refugees.
“The GCR outlines a new model of working and practical arrangement to translate this aspiration into action.
“UNHCR has brought its support for the compact through the global forum to be held every four years from December 2019 and to report to the UN general Assembly on progress made towards meeting the objectives of the compact.
“It is in this regard that I will like to begin my remarks by recognizing the examplary Regional leadership of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for its commitment to the implementation of the Global Compact on refugees.
“”You will recall that in Nigeria the process of consultation on the Global compact on regees began last year between May and November 2019 with consultation meetings organized jointly by the National Commission for refugees, migrant and Internally displaced persons and UNHCR at States and Federal levels to develop National Pledges.

“The pledges were later announced by the Government of Nigeria to the UN member States at the global which took place from 17th to 18th November 2019
“The Global Compact has four objectives, First, to reduce pressure on host countries, secondly, afford refugees self reliance, expand access to third countries solutions, and support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.”
She also commended the Governors of refugee hosting states in Nigeria who have shown tremendous leadership in responding to the refugee crises by ensuring that refugees have access to assylum in Nigeria.
She said they have been giving them access to services including to livelihood opportunities where possible.

“Let me first start by appreciating, recognize and acknowledging the immense and exemplary support that Nigeria has shown towards refugees. “I think that this is the first step, we need to recognize that in today’s forced displacement situation where borders are closing and there is lack of tolerance to recieve these vulnerable population Nigeria opens her door.
“Nigeria is welcoming her people who are forced to flee so apart from their situation that they are being forced to flee, the fact that they found safety and a welcoming arm in Nigeria is already in itself alleviation of their suffering and their situation.
“So all I can say is that their condition is not great largely due to grounding challenges which we have had towards 2020 and this has not enabled us to meet all their basic needs and even the needs that we do provide are inadequate or shot in supply.
“The GCR is a powerful tool because it recognizes that there is international solidarity when you are dealing with forced displacement situations and that is not just refugees.
She said the issue of refugees should not be.left to Government alone, “it is not about the Government alone doing everything it requires international solidarity, it requires a broad range of actors from not just Humanitarian people giving out palliatives.
She said development actors, private sector, foundations, religious institutions, individual philantropists any individual who can support should come forth “because the world has recognized that this displacement situations impact especially the community that are hosting this displaced people, it impacts on development, it impacts on a country’s economy, as such you will need to take a holistic approach responding to a forced displacement situations. “Unfortunately today these situations are not being resolved in a timely manner because they are political situations which evolve and take time but by that time people are still forcibly displaced still living in their country of Assylum.
“So this is why the GCR is a game changer, this is why this is a new way of working recognizing the fact that you cannot look at these things through a humanitarian lens alone but you have to look even through a development lens when you talk about SDGs.
“SDG also apply to refugees, they are human beings so you cannot say that while they are in exile SDG does not apply to them, they apply to everybody, they also got the right to the basic human rights.
“So for me, today has been another recognition of the Federal government of Nigeria of their commitment, at the highest levels we have seen messages of solidarity, messages of support for the adoption of the GCR in Nigeria.
She expressed the hope that through the stakeholders meeting more actors would be brought on board to assist the Government of Nigeria in responding to the vast humanitarian challenges the country is facing.
She said the challenges ranges from the IDP situation in the North East to the Refugee situation in the south South, saying that it requires a concerted effort by everybody not just a few actors.

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

By Friday Idachaba

Participants at a one-day stakeholders strategic meeting on Open Governance Partnership have called on Kogi government to urgently key into the global concept to promote transparency, accountability and good governance.

The participants made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting organised by Conscience For Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with African Centre For Leadership Strategies And Development (Centre LSD) on Tuesday in Lokoja.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the Communiqué was signed by Mr Idris Miliki, Executive Director of Kogi-based CHRCR and made available to newsmen in Lokoja.

The Communiqué said that in view of the importance of the global OGP concept with potentials to check corruption and enhance good governance, 16 states in Nigeria had presently signed up.

It however revealed that Kogi State was yet to key into the global concept and urged the state to, as a matter of urgency, sign up for the state to derive inherent benefits of the partnership.

Objective of the meeting in line with the OGP concept, according to the Communiqué, is to encourage accountability, transparency and reduce corruption in Kogi State.

It is also to build on the existing Networks on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability (NATA), to mobilize Media institutions and professionals in reporting activities on OGP in Kogi State.

The participants however, urged multi-lateral financial institutions particular the World Bank to begin to hold State Governments accountable by verifying the situations of implementations on ground before rating them on financed projects.

The Communiqué reiterated that there should be no rivalry but rather, a broad based relationship and partnerships between the state government and the Civil Society Organizations as both work for and in the interest of the citizens.

The Communiqué said there was need for the current House of Assembly members to live up to their constitutional responsibilities by performing their oversight functions on all institutions of the state, “particularly the local government councils.”

It also called on Media Professionals to take more interest in OGP issues and partner more with the Civil Society Organisations in particular and other relevant institutions to drive the OGP Concept.

“The Civil Society Organizations needs to do more in raising awareness and sensitization of the general public on the OGP and with the Government to get the OGP.

“There is need for the development partners to continue to work with the Civil Society Organizations in the state to promote the OGP process”, the Communiqué added. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, of Sokoto Catholic diocese, has come under attack again from the Presidency for describing Nigeria as a killing field under the Buhari administration.
Kukah in his Easter homily on Sunday, said both the government and the citizens have become helpless as criminals continue to cause havoc in parts of the country.
The battle over insecurity in Nigeria has continued unabated especially in the northern parts of the country where bandits and insurgents have turned to a killing field.
Kukah said the security situation has frustrated many citizens making them to believe the government has gone AWOL (absent without official leave).

“Taunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation, there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart” the bishop said.
“Retired military and intelligence officers lament over what has become of their glorious profession, as they watch the humiliation of our military personnel. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits.
“The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air. We have no message and have no idea how long this will last.”

However in a statement issued in Abuja Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman said Kukah’s “bashing” of President Muhammadu Buhari is “ungodly.”
“All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of truth. But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness,” he said.
“Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message. But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. 

“Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021.”
Shehu also faulted the bishop for saying Buhari is not concerned about those displaced because of the security crisis, citing the creation of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development as part of the president’s efforts in that regard.
“Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily,” the presidential spokesman said.
“We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.”

With additional reports from Cable

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Kwara Gov should be held responsible for looming religious crises over Hijab conundrum says CAN

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Kwara Gov should be held responsible for looming religious crises over Hijab conundrum says CAN


The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has berated Kwara Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for allowing the hijab wearing in schools controversy to degenerate further.
The association therefore urged the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to intervene in the violence over the hijab policy.

The General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, in a statement on Wednesday indicated that AbdulRazaq’s pronouncement on hijab in clear contempt of the court directive on the matter for statusquo to be maintained until the matter is finally resolved by the court is leading to more crises.

According to CAN scribe the state government ordered the reopening of the closed schools without resolving the crisis.

Daramola said churches and mission schools are being vandalised with impunity by those “banking on the state government’s support in the pretext of enforcing the policy”.

The Christian leadership observed that the Governor who is playing ostrich while innocent Christians are being violently abused and attacked in the State he is the chief security officer.
In order not to precipitate further crises CAN said wisdom is required by those in leadership to handle sensitive issues such as that of religion.
“It is disheartening and unfortunate that a government that was installed democratically will become insensitive to the plight and the yearning of the people as if the governor was voted into the office primarily to protect his religion. This is unfair, ungodly and reprehensible.

“There are public schools and schools that belong to some Islamic organisations where those who wanted to be wearing hijab can be attending without causing the ongoing needless crises rocking the state.”

The statement advised AbdulRazaq to order “his hoodlums to stop attacking mission schools and churches before the situation degenerates into an unprecedented religious crisis.”

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