Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has condemned the rising numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in different parts of the country.
Kaigama said this on Saturday in Jos while expressing concerns that the numbers of displaced persons in diaspora in the country could pose grave dangers to the nation’s internal security.
“I went to Taraba, Benue, Southern Kaduna and even back home in Plateau, I have seen many IDPs camps with huge population scattered everywhere. And I said to myself, this people are becoming a tribe in this country; the tribe of the IDPs,” the prelate said.
“We have had crises in many parts of the world whereby the people lost everything they possessed but the governments of those countries made conscious efforts in constantly engaging the people. They devote enormous economic resources in rebuilding a better environment for such people. Unfortunately, our case is always different. After few weeks or months, we tend to forget that there are some people who fled their homes and are taking refuge in a strange land. This got me worried; I am worried because the presence of IDPs is a recipe for more clashes, violence and disorder in the society,’’ he said.
Kaigama called on all levels of government to increase efforts at safeguarding the displaced persons and ensuring they return to their original places of abode as quick as possible.
He also urged the Federal and other levels of government to beef up security in the rural areas, especially communities that are vulnerable to attacks, so as to restore lasting peace to such areas.
The Bishop called on Nigerians to tolerate and learn to live in peace and unity with one another irrespective of the difference in tongue, tone, beliefs and political affiliations
By Anne Bassey