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Plight of IDPs: What I witnessed in Maiduguri – Japanese Ambassador

Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, has narrated how he witnessed first hand, the plight of those impacted by the Boko Haram insurgency in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) camps during his visit to Maiduguri, Borno state capital.

He lamented that for over decades, Nigeria has been confronted by insurgency and terrorist attacks, particularly from Boko Haram in the North East.

Speaking at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC), Jaji, Kaduna, during the inauguration of projects for 2024, he said, these acts of violence have devastated lives and communities causing loss of lives and properties, mass displacement and significant economic losses.

He then reaffirmed the commitment of the Japanese government to supporting Nigeria’s efforts to create a safe and secure environment for all its citizens.

“This project being executed through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) exemplifies that commitment and we believe it will make a significant contribution to achieving that goal.”

“One crucial aspect of building a lasting peace is ensuring the active participation of women. Women are not just victims of conflicts, they are perfect agents for peace.

“This is precisely the core principle of the Women Peace and Security PPS Agenda which is the top priority for foreign minister Kami Kaowa, she even had the opportunity to meet some of the top IDP women leaders primarily from the North East during her visit and that is and directly listening to their stories.

“During my visit to Maiduguri on 10th March, I witnessed first hand the plight of those impacted in the IDP camp. Just recently, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Mrs. Kam Kaowa concluded her very first visit to Nigeria where she emphasized the critical importance of peace and security for Nigeria’s continued development and prosperity.”

He commended the center for training over 100, 000 troops on pre-deployment training and over 2200 persons on individual peace support operation courses drawn from Nigeria Armed Forces, Paramilitary organisations , government ministry, departments and agencies, civilians and allied country since inception.

The Chief of Training Army Headquarters, Major General Sani Muhammad who was represented by Major General Oluyemi Olatoye, the Commandant Nigerian Army School of Infantry, said the 2024 Project covers three vital courses including, Leadership and National Cohesion, Comprehensive Protection of Civilians and Countering Violent Extremism which will all be executed by MLAILPKC.

He noted that the project would significantly enhance the capacity of MLAILPKC to deliver world-class training and capacity-building programs, empowering military and security personnel and other stakeholders, to effectively prevent, respond to and manage emerging security challenges in Nigeria and the West African sub- region.

On his part, the Team lead Governance, Peace and Security, Mr. Mathew Alao, said the main objective of the project is to advance democracy and national cohesion, peaceful co-existence and preserve the wellbeing of civilians in armed conflicts.

“Over the last decade, the Government of Japan, in partnership with UNDP, has invested over US$3 million in Peace Support Operations (PSOs), and anti-piracy projects in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea,” he added.

Earlier, the Commandant of the center, Major General Ademola Adedoja said the strategic partnerships have enabled the center to leverage resources, expertise, and networks, enhancing its impact in peacekeeping and conflict resolution capabilities in Nigeria and Africa.

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