—“With today’s launch event, Yobe State has become the first state in Nigeria to have a domesticated policy on IDPs as a strategic step towards a durable solution” DG NEMA


In a landmark event held on Thursday 4th July 2024 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center, His Excellency, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, the Executive Governor of Yobe State, officially launched the “Yobe State Policy on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).”


The event marks a significant milestone in Yobe State’s ongoing efforts to address the challenges faced by those displaced by insurgency and natural disasters and prepare for the SOLID project.


Governor Buni, in his address, emphasized the profound responsibility and commitment that underpin this new policy. “This policy represents a significant milestone in our collective efforts to address the complex and multifaceted challenges faced by internally displaced persons within our state,” he stated.


He highlighted the extensive disruptions caused by the Boko Haram insurgency and natural disasters, which have left thousands of citizens homeless and in dire need of organized and strategic support.


The policy, a result of comprehensive consultations with various stakeholders, including UN agencies, the World Bank Nigeria, local communities, NGOs, and traditional leaders, aims to provide a robust framework for the immediate and long-term needs of IDPs. Governor Buni underscored the administration’s commitment to ensuring access to basic lifesaving assistance, such as food, clean water, healthcare, education, and sanitation for the most affected communities.


Governor Buni noted that the policy is grounded in principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence, with strategic objectives focusing on protection, access to essential services, and sustainable solutions for displacement. The policy also prioritizes the rights and dignity of all displaced individuals, especially women, children, and other vulnerable groups, ensuring their active participation in decision-making processes.


The Secretary to the Yobe State Government, Baba Mallam Wali, echoed these sentiments in his opening remarks, celebrating the resilience of the people despite the adversities they have faced. “This policy is not merely a document; it is a testament to His Excellency’s determination to foster an environment where every displaced person can rebuild their life with dignity and security,” Wali said.


He called for strengthened partnerships and collaborative efforts to transform the challenges faced by IDPs into opportunities for growth and development.


Earlier while making a presentation on the policy overview, Mr. Suleiman Dauda the State SOLID project coordinator highlighted the strategic need for the policy which he said to show genuine governments’ intentions and plan on IDPs that is aligned with global best practices and standards. He also said issues of displacement must be viewed from development challenge rather than crisis.


Suleiman Dauda further said the policy demonstrated the Yobe State Government leadership and ownership to drive the implementation of durable solution in the state. “By today’s launching, Yobe State became a symbolic state in Nigeria with a combined IDP policy, State Action Plan on Solution to Internal displacement, State Policy Advisory Committee on Durable Solution and State Security Planning and Coordination Group (SPCG) in preparation for the full implementation of durable solution.


The launch event was attended by a host of esteemed guests, including His Excellency the executive Governor of Yobe State Hon Mai Mala Buni CON, Speaker Yobe State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chiroma Buba Mashio, Federal Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power, Members of State and National Assembly, representatives DG NEMA, Federal Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, dozens of Ambassadors, high commissions and members of diplomatic corps, United Nations Nigeria, the World Bank team, donors and development partners, UN agencies, International Non-Governmental Organizations and friend of Yobe from across the country.


Governor Buni concluded the event by reaffirming the government’s commitment to providing durable solutions for IDPs through coordinated efforts with all stakeholders. “We are determined to transform this policy into reality, fostering a Yobe State where peace, stability, and opportunity are the hallmarks of our collective progress,” he declared.