By Ikenna Osuoha
Ms May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer, Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), has advocated adequate medical care and protection for all inmates of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, especially women and children.
Ikokwu made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on World Humanitarian Day (WHD), on Thursday in Abuja.
She is also the Secretary General, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria.
The executive officer who expressed concern over the plight IDPs, called for urgent attention by government and all well-meaning Nigerians.
“Hunger and sickness have become the order of the day for many of the people in the IDP camps in insurgent riddled areas such as Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
“Even sexual abuse targeted at women and girls including older women in their 70s and 80s amount to inhuman treatment.
“We need to extend hands of fellowship and succour to them in these trying times,” she said.
Ikokwu called for punitive measures against those depriving IDPs of their rights in any form, stressing that inmates of IDP camps deserve fair and equal treatment like any other person.
According to her, there is no excuse to subject the IDPs, who were displaced by insurgency, to further trauma and inhuman treatment.
The SOHI boss called for collective efforts of all Nigerians and the global community to rescue the IDPs from the shackles of poverty, rape, illicit deprivations and other acts of inhumanity.
“Government should intensify effort to ensure that people in IDP camps are resettled in their communities as soon as possible.
“It is not good for the image of the country to have internally displaced persons,” she said.
NAN reports that Aug. 19 is set aside as World Humanitarian Day by the United Nations General Assembly.
The day is to commemorate the death of Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his fellow humanitarians in a bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the UN.
Sergio had worked at great length to pull together the Draft for the official designation of the World Humanitarian Day. (NAN)