AN APPRAISAL OF THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (NEMA) IN THE MANAGEMENT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPs) IN NIGERIA

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AN APPRAISAL OF THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (NEMA) IN THE MANAGEMENT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPs) IN NIGERIA

1.1 Introduction

Internal displacement in Nigeria is a recurring and large-scale phenomenon. Most parts of the 36 states have seen many waves of displacement, both small and largescale. It is a situation caused essentially by conflict, generalized violence, insurgencies, human right violations and natural disasters, whereby members of the affected community are forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in neighboring communities or states. Research reveals that Nigeria accounts for more than one million out of Africa’s nine million people internally displaced from their homes due to armed conflict and generalized violence in 2011. This figure however excludes the millions of persons displaced within their own countries due to natural disasters and development projects. In Nigeria and elsewhere in the world, the affected populations have been categorized as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Internally Displaced Persons
are the most vulnerable population for obvious reasons, such as loss of their homes, properties and lives of their relations as well as the fact that many remain largely unseen and uncared for.

1.1.1 Statement of Problem

A statement of problem identified in the foregoing events in Nigeria is, the Government at the Federal, State and Local levels do not have sufficient machinery in place to adequately address the issues of internal displacement. The capacity of the Institutions created by Government to effectively manage internally displaced persons is limited (especially to providing only short term solutions). In connection to the above statement of problem are the gaps in the Institutional mandates in giving clear authority to specifically handle internal displacement issues, as well as the absence of a National Legal Framework or policy document on the Assistance and Protection of Internally Displaced Persons which has lead to constrained national response

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