By our Reporters in Borno, Katsina, Jos, kebbi and Benue,
At last, the secret is out why the Hon. Commissioner for the National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons Haj. Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim has become very popular in Nigeria. Since her appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari she has not left anyone in doubt about her competence, ability and capacity as the right material for the job. “Those who understand the enormity of refugee problem in Nigeria will readily appreciate her tremendous contributions so far”, said Abubakar Sadiq, a Maiduguri based public affairs analysts. “Nigerians have to peep into the growing crisis in that sector and understand that only a serious-minded approach would curtail the ugly trend”, he told our Reporters during routine investigation.
Current statistics show that with the Covid-19 pandemic, the rising wave of terrorism, the status of Nigeria has gradually moved from receiving refugees to one where citizens are internally displaced. A glimpse into the scenario show that the government hosts IDP camps in about 26 states including FCT, with Borno alone hosting 1,704,473 IDPs! The internal displacements were largely caused by insurgency, banditry, communal conflicts, farmers-herders clashes and flood. “So, when we have someone who understands the challenges at hand and knows exactly how to effect necessary changes, such a person should be appreciated”, Abubakar stated.
Besides, the public Affairs expert disclosed that despite government efforts and humanitarian aid, some 12.5 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance especially in the Northern states struck by conflict-induced food insecurity and severe malnutrition. “In addition to that, with the frightening menace of recurrent epidemics, chronic poverty, poor health services, lack of basic drugs and deteriorating security situation, you will understand why Haj, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim cannot sleep”, Abubakar further explained.
“Don’t forget the fact that as in any emergency, the poorest and most disadvantaged are unexpectedly women and children and they simply cannot be left alone”, said another interested participant who gave his name as Malam Dauda Ilya. “Haj. Imaan Ibrahim cannot rest in her oars; she cannot afford to when children are exposed to abuse and violence not to mention communicable diseases, access to clean water and safe delivery facilities”, he stated. Dauda Ilya revealed that what is even more frightening is the reality of these children being recruited by extremists and criminal gangs; you know a child denied formal education is a tool for manipulation by the environment they find themselves”, he told our reporters. According to him, there is no other reason for appreciating the Honorable Commissioner for her swift intervention and tireless effort.
Haj. Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim is doing her best to provide protection, food and non-food items, education, skill acquisition and various other types of empowerment aimed at restoring human dignity of the IDPs and refugees and ultimately help them to their original homes or be integrated in their host communities. “This is not a job you do by sitting down in the comfort of your office; infact those working with her has to sit up and help her accomplish these objectives”, explained Malam Ilya.
Reports say that when Haj. Sulaiman assumed office from NAPTIP where she was the director-General, she hit the ground running, and within days had visited the hot spots to see things herself; in the process, she gave out relief materials and other soothing domestic items interacting personally with the affected. Where angels fear to tread, she went, like in Jere LGA in Borno state, where she distributed food and non-food items to the poor and disadvantaged. Each household smiled home with hefty bags of rice, beans, millet, spaghetti, maize, palm oil, groundnut oil, mattresses, mat, kettle, insecticides, buckets, cooking pots, plates, cups, spoons etc.
“This woman has got guts and strength and she has got to be praised”, declared Dauda Ilya. “She is the kind of professional we need in this country”, he added.
Sulaiman-Ibrahim has pledged the commitment of the Buhari administration to better the lives of IDPs through her Commission. She also commended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq for her support to IDPs. “And now we hear she is setting up learning centres in IDP camps across the country to ensure that the affected are equipped with basic universal education and skills”.