Listen to article
The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday celebrated Christmas with inmates of Abegena Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the outskirts of Makurdi the Benue state capital, and donated N3 million for their upkeep.
Addressing the displaced persons, Mr. Obi said Nigerians have no business staying in IDPs camps and urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to make their ancestral homes conducive and also have them resettled.
He said ‘I decided that today I will be in Kogi and Benue to celebrate with people in IDP camps. Nigerians should not be living in the camps in their country.’
‘So I am appealing to the Federal Government to do whatever it takes to ensure that Nigerians don’t live as refugees in their country.
‘I assure you, that the next government, as we progress, we will ensure that this does not continue. Today, we are here just to tell you to remain faithful, remain prayerful, put all your hope in God.
‘What you are passing through is what Nigeria is passing through. What affects you affects everyone in Nigeria. We cannot say we are doing well when you are here.
‘As long as you remain here, Nigeria is not doing well. It is when you leave and you are in your homes, farming and doing what you are supposed to do to help Nigeria become productive that we will be proud to say we are Nigerians.
‘As long as you remain in IDPs camp, Nigeria is in IDP camp. So I have come here to celebrate with you. I am pained that Nigerians are in camp. You are in camp and we are also in camp because if you were in your homes today, I would have been in my home but since you are here, we can’t continue to celebrate and that is why I said Nigeria is in camp. This is what we portray as a country.’
The Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Emmanuel Shior who led the Presidential candidate to the camp, had earlier disclosed that the camp was home to over 10,000 IDPs. He lauded Mr. Obi for the gesture stressing that the donation was sequel to an earlier discussion with the IDPs who said they were in need of financial assistance.