President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and international aid agencies to complement the Federal Government’s efforts to increase humanitarian assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.
A statement issued by Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president, said Buhari made the call when he received the Greek Medical Charity organisation, also known as “Heart Doctors”, at the State House, Abuja.
President Buhari said the Nigerian government was working hard to secure and rehabilitate communities ravaged by Boko Haram insurgents.
“It is a pathetic situation we have. There are more than two million internally displaced persons, 70 per cent of whom are women and children. Of these, 60 per cent are orphaned children.
“We are willing to work with organisations such as yours to quickly rehabilitate infrastructure, rebuild schools, medical clinics and destroyed homes,” the President said.
Buhari told the visiting medical charity team that the task of rehabilitating IDPs in the region was enormous, but noted that “with perseverance and commensurate resources such challenges are surmountable”.
He thanked the doctors for their humanitarian activities in the country and assured that his administration would welcome other spirited individuals and organisations with similar intentions.
The leader of the delegation, Prof. Xenofan Yataganas, told the president that the organisation commenced humanitarian work in Nigeria since 2002.
According to him, the organisation has been involved in rebuilding schools and distributing medicines and food at IDP camps.
Meanwhile, Buhari also played host to the newly crowned Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunlusi, and the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meetings took place at separate times behind closed doors.
The Ife monarch, who spoke to State House correspondents after the closed door meeting, said the purpose of his meeting with the President was not only about peace and progress of the country, but also about how to empower the youths of the country.
On the dwindling oil revenue occasioned by the decline in the prices of crude oil, the monarch stated that Nigeria had no choice but to revert to those commodities that she used to have before oil was discovered.
He said he had been able to assemble about 200,000 youths within one month with a view to encouraging them to go back to the farm.
“I am currently working with the Minister of Agriculture. We have been able to assemble over 200,000 youths within a space of 30 days. It is unbelievable.
“We are encouraging them to go back to the farm.
“Something happened in Nigeria that we did not notice. Last October, crude oil price started going down astronomically but cocoa price went up over 100 per cent and nobody noticed it.
“Nigeria in the early 1930s and 1940s was the largest exporter of cocoa in the world and the farmlands are still there.
“We have been able to assemble the youths and we are giving them five acres per youth so that they will go back to the farm,” said the Ooni.
Commenting on his acceptance so far since his installation as the Ooni, the monarch insisted that he had a clear strategy and that he would continue to work towards realising the strategy, describing his ascension to throne as a divine call.
“I have a clear strategy: if you don’t want to accept me, I will accept you. It is very important and I will be very persistent about it because it is a divine calling.
“It is neither by my power nor by my might. It is a calling from the King of kings who actually appointed me to this throne.
“So, I will be very persistent. About acceptability, if you do not accept me today, you will accept me tomorrow. It is a clear mission and I will be persistent about,” he said. (NAN)
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