Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, says the government must live up to its role of taking care of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
He said the “very important” role should not be left in the hands of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Dogara said this on Saturday when he led a house of representatives delegation to the Karmajiji IDP camp in Abuja for a medical outreach.
There are about 2,000 IDPs in the camp which has been in existence for almost four years.
Dogara called for the integration of IDPs into neighbouring communities while waiting to return to their various homes.
He said: “It is turning out to be a long stay, I don’t know how we will approach this, whether this act of intervention on the part of the NGOs and faith-based organisations will be enough, or whether government should look for other means by which we can integrate the IDPs themselves, as against rushing them back to their communities where they could be displaced again.
“So that is the task that we all must set our minds to accomplish. We need to integrate them if we cannot send them back to their communities in the nearest possible time.
“That effort must be made by government, not even NGOs, NGOs can support and faith-based organisations can also support, but the government must stand up and be counted.”
Dogara also canvassed for the establishment of a school in the camp, while warning that keeping the displaced persons out of school “is like looking for further trouble in the future”.
Sani Zoro, chairman of the house committee on IDPs, refugees and initiatives on north-east, flayed the executive arm of government for “neglecting” the displaced persons.
He alleged that no government official in the executive has bothered to visit any of the camps in the federal capital territory.
“There are about 16 of these camps in the FCT and yet there is no official of the executive arm of government, be if a minister or anyone, that has bothered to go on an official visit to any of the camps. I think this unacceptable,” Zoro said.