Nigerians Refugees in Their Own Country, CJN Laments

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, on Monday said good governance and respect for the fundamental rights of citizenry as stipulated in the country’s constitution is the only way to peace and security stability in the country.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a 5-day workshop on refugee law holding at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, in Abuja, the CJN regarded as unfortunate, the fact that most Nigerians have become refugees in their own country. “These people are forced to flee their homes, ancestral places of abode and places of business due to no fault of theirs.”

“Now, the internally displaced persons are often referred to as Refugees in their own country. In the time past, internal displacement was an uncommon phenomenon especially in Nigeria. Unfortunately, this hitherto uncommon phenomenon has become a common phenomenon almost across Nigeria.

“This has been caused by diverse inter-communal, political and religious violence; forced evictions and recently, flooding. The devastating effects of flood across the country are certainly still being felt in some quarters.

“It is important for us all to bear in mind that all these pose great challenges and call for humanitarian actions on the part of all and sundry, and attending to humanitarian needs is not a cheap venture.

“My lords, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, while it is imperative to address the needs and welfare of these vulnerable groups, my view is that it is better to avoid, as much as possible, those situations and circumstances that precipitate internal displacement and refugee crisis.

“This is an arena where the political class must be up and doing and I hold the view that good governance, respect for the fundamental rights of citizenry as stipulated in the Constitution and strict obedience to the rule of law will promote peace rather than internal displacement and refugee crisis,” she added.

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