Innocent Idibia, also known as 2Baba, is visiting Borno State, to support the work of UNHCR in the protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugee returnees.
His visit is part of a partnership that is being built with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency to raise awareness and help support people affected by the crisis in the North-East.
Following his arrival on Monday, the music star today visited two camps hosting more than 94,000 IDPs and refugee returnees in Gamboru/Ngala near the border with Cameroon to enable him have a better understanding of the displacement situation.
He visited and talked to IDP and refugee returnee families to show solidarity and understand the human suffering.
“I am delighted to come to the North-East to see my own people who are victims of the ongoing displacement crisis; and I want to thank UNHCR for partnering with me and my Foundation in making this possible.
“As a Nigerian, I was touched by the experience to see people in IDP camps, but I am also proud to be associated with this humanitarian effort of UNHCR to assist fellow Nigerians during this difficult period of our history”, said 2Baba.
In February, the musician and his 2Face Foundation donated more than US$11,000 to UNHCR for IDPs and returnees and has embarked on a series of activities to expand. For example, he committed to donate part of the proceeds from his new song launched on World Refugee Day this year to support the affected population through UNHCR.
2baba and his Foundation will stage a concert in Abuja at the Hilton Hotel on 24 July as part of continuing efforts to support IDPs and returnees.
The music celebrity is calling on other Nigerians of goodwill to join him to support efforts by UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies helping IDPs and refugee returnees.
2Baba said: “The conditions in which people are living are unbelievable and I see my engagement as a national responsibility; to use my God-given talent to raise more awareness for people to understand the degree of the displacement crisis and suffering of the IDPs and refugee returnees” so that they can do more to assist them. “IDPs do not need yachts and private jets; all they need are basic services such as food, shelter, health, education, water, sanitation and clothing; It’s our responsibility tto help them end their suffering”.
Speaking in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, UNHCR Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS Antonio Canhandula said he was pleased with the spirit of the Nigerian music star for responding to the call of UNHCR to support fellow Nigerians who are the victims of a conflict they know nothing about.
“We at UNHCR are equally touched by his visit to Maiduguri and to the IDPs. The collaboration between his Foundation and UNHCR underscores a sense of national solidarity that is worth emulating. UNHCR will remain engaged with the government, and other Nigerians who want to support efforts to assist their fellow compatriots. The needs are enormous, and no one agency or individual can do it alone”, said the UNHCR Representative.