Boko Haram: ‘we have 2 million Nigerians in IDPs camps’

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A makeshift camp which houses internaly displaced people (IDPs) on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State, northeastern Nigeria on September 15, 2016 ©Stefan Heunis (AFP)

An estimated two million Nigerians displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency are living in Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPS) camps in six NorthEast States, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said yesterday.

Yola Camp Coordinator Saas Bello stated this at the weekend after taking United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samanthan Power, round the facilities at the Malkohi IDP Camp in Yola, Adamawa State.

Bello, who represented NEMA Director General Sani Sidi, gave the figure of the IDPs in Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi and Adamawa states as 1, 934, 765, who he said are living in formal camps, host communities and satellite camps in liberated communities.

According to him, there were “32 formal camps in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States with a total of 189, 783 IDPs. Borno has 19 camps with 150, 858 IDPs; Yobe has nine camps with 31, 988 IDPs and Adamawa four camps with 6, 937 IDPs.

The Camp Coordinator added that there were 14 satellite camps in liberated communities, mainly in Borno State with 216, 184 IDPs. The camps with the highest population are Ngala with 70, 505; Dikwa 53, 636; Bama 27, 000 and Damboa/Sabon Gari 25, 311.

Saad said host communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states have 1, 391, 613 IDPs. Borno state has the highest with 1, 158, 362; Adamawa 125, 689 and Yobe 107, 562.

He said the “Federal Government through the coordinating agency, NEMA and relevant line Ministries, Departments and Agencies have been trying to meet the needs of the IDPs in the provision of food, nutrition, non-food items (NFIs), temporary shelter, medicament, psycho-social therapy, security and protection.

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He said as “the government continued in the efforts to meet the needs of the IDPs, more support were critically required for the IDPs across the three identified kinds of camps before they returned to their communities.

“The critical areas where further support is needed are food, non-food items (including basic household needs), shelter, WASH, education, nutrition, protection, health and sexual reproductive health, and psycho-social helps.”

Ambassador Power, who led said her team was there to determine what more could be done to defeat Boko haram so that they can return to their communities.

“I know how difficult these last years have been for you and on behalf of President Barack Obama, I express my sympathy and my condolences for all you have lost and our resolve to try to make things better together”, she said.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara also visited the Yola IDPs camp at the weekend where he told the displaced persons that the government would soon facilitate their return home.

He also visited the Lamido of Adamawa at his palace and expressed his support for a constitutional role for monarchs because of their importance.

He said traditional rulers are better placed to help bring about change and transformation in the society as custodians of culture.

Dogara said more than ever before, the present administration is committed to tackling the various challenges facing the country

He said: “We want to implore you Your Royal Highness, as in the National Assembly we strive to give a role to traditional institutions; our leaders, our fathers, and parents that are in charge of these institutions must rise to the occasion as well.

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“And I know that there is place for ideas when it comes to peace building, and that is what has eluded us in this region of Nigeria. These ideas are better inculcated in people when they are young.”

“Government cannot force peace, peace is always something like a tradition, a culture, that must be embraced by individuals.”

“So even though it is difficult to raise non-violent children, but at least at the level of traditional institutions with the discipline that we were brought on, we can teach young people, children, young girls, young men, to express immediate signs of disapproval when they witness instant violence.

Dogara said good teaching, could produce citizens that are committed to dialogue, regardless of differences in terms of tribe and religion.

The Lamido, Dr. Mohammadu Barkindo Mustapha called on the Executive and the Legislature to work to deliver on their mandate by putting their differences aside.

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