As part of its humanitarian programmes aimed at ameliorating the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast of the Country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) today, 23 December 2019, presented Dignity Packs to young girls at IDP Camps in Dalori and Bama in Borno State. The distribution of the Dignity Packs, which contain sanitary pads, towels, detergent, bath soap, body cream, body spray as well as inner vests and other sanitary items, is aimed at assisting young females in the Camps to build a culture of personal hygiene that would also enhance their self-esteem.
In his remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Commander Air Task Force (ATF) Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Air Commodore Precious Amadi, noted that the packs were being distributed in response to an appeal made to the CAS by some of the girls during his last visit to the Camp. The CAS explained that he was moved by the request, knowing that apart from food and medical needs which the NAF already provides, the next most important thing for young girls who had attained puberty was the need to maintain personal hygiene to preserve their health and dignity as young women.
The CAS added that the Service had been in the forefront of responding to the humanitarian needs of its host communities through the provision of essential amenities and medical services. He added that, since 2015, the NAF established and had been running Level 2 hospitals in both Dalori and Bama IDP Camps. According to him, these efforts were geared towards improving civil-military relations between the NAF and its host communities. “It is also a way of employing non-coercive, soft power in this war against insurgency in order to win the hearts and minds of the people,” he added. Air Marshal Abubakar also used the opportunity to announce the intention of the Service to expand the Level 2 Hospitals in Bama and Dalori IDP Camps. These gestures, he said, were part of NAF’s commitment to add value to the immediate communities and the society at large.
In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, who was represented by the Chairperson of Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Hajjya Yabawa Kolo, expressed deep appreciation to the CAS for such a grand gesture of humanitarian service. She added that “this great move by the NAF would go a long way in addressing cases of infertility among the young girls which is often due to many years of persistent poor hygiene.” She seized the occasion to encourage other organizations and well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the gesture shown by the NAF so as to further alleviate the sufferings of IDPs in Nigeria.