The Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older People in Nigeria (COSROPIN) has called on the Federal Government to adopt a special welfare scheme to cater to the plight of old people in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
Sen. Eze Ajoku, President of the association, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ajoku said the call was imperative to guarantee food security and social well being of the ageing community taking shelter in IDPs camps in the northeast.
He expressed concern over the plight of older people in camps in terms of care and feeding, saying that they could not compete with the younger ones.
“Older persons in IDPs camps are having a raw deal as they are not able to rush when food items are distributed,” he said.
Ajoku noted that it was imperative to the separation of the aged people from the younger ones in the camps to give them access to care and other life-saving assistance.
He added that special attention should be accorded to the older people in the camps to restore confidence and eliminate psychological trauma being experienced in the insurgency ravaged area.
The president reiterated the commitment of the coalition to continue to advance the cause of the older people in the country to achieve a better life.
Ajoku also described older men and women as vulnerable and exposed to traumatic experiences in times of insurgent attacks as they could not easily escape.
He emphasized the need for the authorities at state and local government levels to adopt effective relocation strategies to protect older persons in conflict-prone areas.
“To survive and escape to IDPs camps only to be deprived of necessities because of their vulnerable state is very unfortunate.
‘Government and organizations working in the IDPs camps should carry out a survey on the state of older persons, it will help bring the seriousness of the issue to the camp administrators.
“Food items should be selectively distributed to vulnerable older persons and the sick in the camps.”