In an effort to explore more scientific ways of addressing the nation’s security challenges, The Federal Government has expressed its desire to establish a DNA national data-bank, starting with the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
The government sees this as a veritable tool for tracking terrorists and other criminals within the country. This was disclosed on Friday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, during a briefing at the ongoing 2nd Regional Security Summit in Abuja.
The minister disclosed that of the nearly two million internally displaced persons in Nigeria, about 6, 000 were children who are aged below five, who have been separated from their parents as a consequence of the ongoing conflict, adding that such a databank would also help to track their parents.
“We have within the country nearly two million internally displaced persons, a real tragedy which we have to address. We also have about 6, 000 children under the age of five who are separated from their parents and homes. We have to look at how to address that human catastrophe.
“What we are looking at is the use of DNA to try and match those children with parents. The DNA data-bank is really what we are looking at. And we could ultimately extend the data-bank to the whole country because we know that for a lot of countries, it is through their comprehensive DNA data-bank that they use in tracking terrorists and that is also going to help us in intelligence gathering.”
Speaking further, Onyeama said that one of the targets of the summit would be to institute a post-conflict development programme, and as well put in place, mechanisms that would ensure that the military gains in the North East are consolidated through civil programs by winning the hearts of the people through reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs.
Mr. Onyeama said that efforts are being made with the Government of Cameroun to bring back over 65,000 officially recognized refugees in the country.