Extortion From IDPs Despicable And Inhumane – Humanitarian Committee

Humanitarian committee, IDP'sThe Senate ad-hoc committee on humanitarian crisis, led by Senator Shehu Sani, has described as inhumane and despicable, the alleged extortion of materials from IDP camps.

Senator Shehu Sani said this during his visit to Yobe state, while performing the committee’s assignment.

While in the state, the team was received by the Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu, who stood in for the Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam.

Addressing the Deputy Governor, on their mission to the state, Mr Sani expressed concern that some persons were profiting from the tragedy and unfortunate situation of the IDPs as an opportunity to enrich themselves.

“We have seen exaggerated reports and corruption of industrial scales, in the name of IDPs and sometimes, your name as government and institution is being used.

“It is inhumane and despicable that individuals see this as an opportunity for themselves and so surprisingly, many of you that hold positions of power at the state level are not accessible to even know and don’t have even the knowledge of the kind of money that is being pumped from the federal site”, he said.

He revealed that the committee would visit the IDP camps in the state to see for themselves the situation of the displaced, which would help them during the public hearing that will be organized much later after the tour.

He said: “We are here within this very short period of time to go round and have a practical knowledge of what is there on ground and to listen to you with a view of going back to the National Assembly to conduct a public hearing and invite those persons that are concerned to do what we need to do”.

Mr Sani, while also observing that there is corruption at monumental scale in handling the IDP issues, stated that “whoever is involved will surely be prosecuted”.

According to the Governor, the crisis became serious in 2011 and affected 12 local government areas with Gujba and Gulani, worst hit by the insurgency.

He, however, said that despite the destruction caused to the state by the insurgents, “the administration in the state, has since commenced the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement process”

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Listing some of the activities involved, he mentioned the reconstruction of the Katarko bridge and the Damaturu- Buniyadi-Magza road.

“The challenges before us have now been how to effectively address the humanitarian crisis and further facilitate the recovery of the victims, before full scale reconstruction of the affected areas.

“In order to manage the situation and implement our planned programme for the resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation, a high powered committee under his excellency, the Deputy Governor Abubakar D Aliyu, has been set up,” the Governor said.

Furthermore, he mentioned that the the committee had spent millions of Naira in the restoration of water and health facilities, in addition to supply of food and essential non-food items to the returning communities and the IDPs.

The committee later visited the Pompomari IDP camp, located in Damaturu, the state capital, where they went to find out about the mode of feeding, water supply and health facilities as well as the general wellbeing of the people.

INEC Records 80% PVC Distribution In Yobe

PVCs-Customs-INECThe Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria has recorded 80 per cent distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Yobe State, one of the volatile states in the north-eastern part of the oil rich nation.

The spokesman for the commission, in Yobe State, Bagudu Nma, said, “so far 80 per cent of registered voters have collected their voter cards, as centres have been open for collection across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state”.

On the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) as a result of the prevailing Boko Haram insurgency in the state, Mr Nma said two camps had been opened for the two affected Local Government Councils of Gujba and Gulani.

He said Gujba voters would cast their votes in Damaturu, the state capital while electorates in Gulani would exercise their franchise in neighbouring Fika.

In the state capital, registered voters queued in their numbers to collect their voter cards, with the complain that the commission was grossly under staff as they hardly distribute the cards effectively.

They called for employment of more staff if the deadline of February 8 must be met.

The staff responsible for the PVC distribution in Damaturu are grossly inadequate, as sourcing and issuing of cards to the rightful owners take too much time.

A staff ought to be charged with the responsibility of attending to a ward. But as it is at the venue, the limited number will hardly beat the deadline.

“We have spent over three hours here and we are yet to be attended to. They are too slow in the distribution because they are few. A staff supposed to attend to a ward but that is not the case,” one of the electorates waiting to get his card said.

Meanwhile, trainings for electoral supervisors and officers have commenced across the state.

A visit to the venue of the training revealed that participants are being tutored on electoral proceedings, as they relate to modern times.

Similarly, a one-day voter awareness campaign on voter education had also been organised in the state.

Mr Hassan Garba, who is a resource person at the training, said the turnouts had been generally impressive. He said that the participants would be equipped with the required knowledge of electoral innovations.

A participant at the training, Mr Salisu Garba, said the training would avail them the opportunity to know more about the new innovations concerning the card readers which would tackle the issue of multiple voting recorded in the past.