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5,750 Borno IDPs Decry Neglect



Over 5,750 internally Displaced persons (IDPs) taking refuge at Faria Garki Block IDPs camp in Old Maiduguri, Jere Local government area of Borno State have decried official neglect and starvation ravaging them.

The displaced persons who are made of victims of insurgency from Marte which makes up the majority, Bama, Dikwa, Kalabarge, and Gamboru Ngala, added that since 3 years of their existence in the camp, no government agency, be it National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) or State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has been to their camp, talk more of government, either state or federal.

The IDPs bared their minds to LEADERSHIP yesterday in Old Maiduguri, in Maiduguri, during the 10 Day yellow Fever vaccination campaign embarked by the World Health Organization aimed to vaccinate 1.2 million IDPs in Borno State.

The IDPs noted that apart from some NGOs like IOM  which erected the tent they are living, MSF, and WFP, which sometimes ago brought food and provided cash tranfer of some stipends to few of them, no help has come their way, saying that for the past 52 days, they have not seen food to eat.

An IDP from Marte local government area, Abdullahi Ahmad said most of them have turned beggars for surving, adding that government should return them to their communities, rather than abandoning them to starvation.

“We are starving of food and it is Action Against Hunger that has brought food to us, MSF erected the tents we are living while World Food Programme (WFP) provided cash transfer of some stipends to few of us. For the past 52 days no food has come our way. We are really suffering here.

“Since our 3 years of existence on this camp, neither National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) or State Emergency Management Agency ( SEMA), has visited the camp. Not even any government official, be it federal or state has been here,” Ahmad lamented.

Similarly, another IDP from Marte, Bashir Jibrin said another challenge they are facing in the camp is drinking water as the only borehole water they have in the camp at times gets contaminated thereby resulting to some of them contracting diarrhea after drinking the water.

“We are appealing to the Borno State government and the federal government to listen to our cry and come to our help.

“We thank the World Health Organization for the yellow fever vaccination campaign in our camp. We are happy for their coming.

He said they met with the Management of SEMA six months ago over their plight, but despite the assurances that the agency will visit them , nothing has so far been heard from them till now.

Reacting to the develpment, the NEMA informaton officer, Northeast, Mr Abdulkadir Ibrahim said the agency is aware of the issues of the camp , saying that as a federal agency , there is limit to what they can do.

“We are the one that arranged their meeting with SEMA . The procedure is that anywhere there is IDPs camp, if they meet SEMA and SEMA validates it , SEMA will now write to us stating that they have validated the camp , then we will send down our people there. But since that has not happened, we will use back door channel to inform other partners about the camp. So I don’t know why SEMA has not recorgnised them officially.

“So you can contact, the executive chairman SEMA , Ahmed Satomi , he is in the better position to explain. If you contact SEMA , they will tell you reason why , they have not recorgnised the camp.”

Efforts to speak with the SEMA BOSS was futile as he was said to have travelled out of Maiduguri. Meanwhile, the Borno State government has announced the appointment of Hajiya Yabawa Kolo as the new chairperson of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). She replaces the former chairman, Ahmed Satomi.

The replacement was announced in a statement issued on Thursday in Maiduguri by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa on Thursday in Maiduguri. Until her appointment, Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, was a Director of Women Affairs in the Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.