Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President, on Tuesday, distributed food items to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, residing in Yola town and environs to mark his 70th birthday.
Mr. Abubakar, who addressed the IDPs at a ceremony in Yola, said that the gesture was to show concern on the plight of the IDPs and to assure them of his commitment to continue to support them.
He said “I have told my friends and associates not to waste money buying birthday cards and other gifts for me but to use the money to buy foodstuff for you.
“It’s unfortunate that you are affected by Boko Haram insurgency, but I want to assure you that if I were in government, Boko Haram would not have happened.”
He added that the last administration handled the Boko Haram issue with kid glove, and recalled how the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, whom he served as vice president, crushed such uprising in Yobe.
The former vice president then blamed the current recession in the country on the last administration and urged the public to bear with the present administration’s effort to tackle the situation.
He also urged the Federal Government to do more on the plight of IDPs to enable them to go back to their communities and pick up their lives once again.
Margee Ensign, the Leader of the Adamawa Peace Initiative (API), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), said that the NGO, through the support of the former vice president, had for the past two years supported IDPs in the state.
Ms. Ensign said the organisation distributed food items to 5,000 IDPs families to mark Mr. Abubakar’s birthday.
Responding on behalf of the IDPs, Mairo Alhassan, lauded the humanitarian gesture of Mr. Abubakar and urged others to emulate him.
She said “you have been playing a significant role in our lives and we can only thank you by saying God bless you while we urge other rich individuals to emulate you.”