Monday, August 29, 2016 11:06 pm
Irish-born Rock star, Paul David, also known as Bono, and Aliko Dangote and the Federal Government are forging a partnership to raise funds for the Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) in the North -East of Nigeria.
After a meeting among the partners at the office of the Vice President, Bono told State House correspondents that the partnership was aimed at raising international awareness on the plight of the IDPs.
According to Bono (real name Paul David), the essence is to save Nigeria from humanitarian crisis in order to save Africa, Europe and U.S. adding that “really, people don’t understand what two million displaced person means..
“Towns turned to rubble, villages gone, no homes to return, even with the advances the military made in the last months’ they can’t go home because there are no more homes.
“We discussed the idea of partnerships because with this government, the international community will feel this partnership is possible.
“These are people tackling the core problems of Nigeria, an amazing and exciting country.
“If Nigeria fails, Africa fails, if Africa fails, Europe fails, if Europe fails, America is in big trouble.
“So the spirit of partnership is what we really discussed and specifically the Make-Nigeria-stronger Campaign from the One campaign.’’
Bono said that the partnership was to raise 300 million dollars to support the IDPs, especially the children population.
He said “there are 50,000 children predicted to die before the end of the year unless they get urgent help.
“We have got 100 million dollars, just one-third of the amount and this is a scandal. We need to raise 300 million dollars, so we will campaign on this.”
The artiste noted that the UNHCR and UNICEF were doing great jobs on the issue but added that their funding mechanisms could not adequately sustain the problems and that the partnership would do more to address the situation in the country.
On his part, Nigerian business icon Aliko Dangote said the group would raise international awareness on the plight of the IDPs to enable it to partner the federal government.
He said “the whole idea is for us to make sure that we raise an international awareness all over the world so that we could actually partner the government to see how we can resolve the issue of this IDPs.
“This is because having two million people, if you leave them there sitting down and doing nothing, it is not only about giving them food or resettling them, it is actually to try and make sure that they have a new life, they go back to their commerce and return to their livelihoods and the children should go back to school.
“Really, there is no single government that can take care of two million displaced persons, especially with the current low oil prices. One of the things we believe that One Campaign is going to do is actually to enlighten.
“That is one of the reasons I also accepted to serve on their board as a Director and I think really you can see a significant change from now onwards.’’
Dangote hailed the efforts of the One campaign to solve Nigeria’s economic and humanitarian problems and expressed optimism that the partnership would achieve a lot.
“One campaign has seven million members with 2.3 million Nigerians: so, there is going to be a lot of advocacy.
“Also, the group is involved in the debt cancellation of Nigeria. Nigeria was one of the beneficiaries at that time when they did that so I think this one too, we believe that One Campaign can do a lot and I am sure you will see what will happen going forward.”
In his contributions, a Nigerian artiste, Aituaje Iruobe, also known as Waje, said that a component of the campaign called “Make Nigeria stronger” was to get Nigerians involved in the campaign toward improving health care through adequate funding. (NAN)