Amnesty International Demands Probe Of ‘Rampant Corruption’ In IDP Camps

Amnesty International Demands Probe Of 'Rampant Corruption' In IDP Camps

 

Human rights group Amnesty International has called on the Federal Government to investigate what it described as “credible allegations of rampant corruption” made by victims of the Boko Haram insurgency at various Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps.

It made the demand in a series of tweets on Friday to commemorate the celebration of International Women’s Day.

“There were protests at the Shettima Ali Monguno and Teachers Village camps in Maiduguri in February over lack of food, ill-treatment and corruption,” the group said.

READ ALSOElectoral Violence: Military Dismisses Fear Of Reprisals Over Killing Of Personnel

It further accused the Nigerian authorities of continuing to fail thousands of women who fled their homes as a result of the activities of the insurgents.

Amnesty International noted that this comes almost a year after its investigation revealed the “patterns of abuse by the security forces.”

“Many of these women still struggle to access food and other basic items in camps for IDP’s and are restricted from leaving.

“Those who speak up about their ordeal face harassment from government officials, particularly the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA),” it alleged.

The group decried that the combination of movement restrictions and lack of assistance has left female IDPs at increased risk of sexual exploitation allegedly by security operatives present in and around the camps.

According to it, the Boko Haram conflict forced thousands of women to live in squalid conditions in IDP camps.

Amnesty International, however, insisted that it was the responsibility of the Nigerian authorities to protect the women and bring all those suspected of exploiting them to justice.

Flood: Osinbajo Visits IDP Camps In Delta

 

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday visited an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

He visited the camp after he returned from Anambra State where he went to assess the flood situation and also visit affected persons, along with the state governor, Willie Obiano.

Before the trip to Anambra, the Vice President initially made a stop in Asaba, the Delta State capital, where he assessed the flood-ravaged communities in a chopper.

He arrived at the camp with the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and other dignitaries.

See photos of the VP arriving at the IDP camp in Delta State.

 

The VP’s visit was prompted by the increasing amount of flooding which has killed many and rendered several persons homeless in several states.


RELATED

NEMA Declares Flooding In Four States National Disaster

We Have Moved Kogi Flood Victims Into Hostels, Says NEMA Boss


 

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had warned that the steady rise in water levels and weather forecast in the coming weeks have put the country at risk of witnessing a recurrence of catastrophic flooding similar to what it witnessed in 2012.

Several states have so far been affected, with Niger and Kogi among the worst hit.

The situation led to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), declaring flooding a national disaster in four states (Kogi, Niger, Delta and Anambra) and placing eight others on the watch list.

Malnutrition Rate Has Dropped To 23.6% Among Child IDPs, Says Benue Govt.

UNICEF Launches $3.3bn Emergency Assistance Fund For IDP Children
File Photo

 

The Benue State Government has said that the rate of malnutrition among children in Internally Displaced Camps in the state has drastically reduced.

The Secretary to the State Government, Professor Anthony Ijoho and the Principal Special Assistant on Nutrition and Food Security, Dorcas Ukpe, said this at the flag off of the ‘one egg, one man’ campaign at the Gbajimba IDP camp on Thursday.

File Photo: Benue State Internally Displaced Persons’ Camps

According to them, the campaign which was initiated to combat malnutrition and stunted growth among Internally Displaced Children, has so far yielded great results, with statistics showing that malnutrition has dropped from 39.8% to 23.6% since the commencement of the programme.

Read Also: Children’s Day: Saraki Visits Benue IDP Camp

At the Gbajimba camp, the government presented various food items, including bags of rice, milk, and over 500 crates of eggs.

Professor Anthony Ijoho, who presented the items, also called on well-meaning Nigerians to extend a hand of help to the over 180,000 IDPs, out of which, 80, 000 are children.

Osinbajo In Benue On Two-Day Working Visit

Vice president Yemi Osinbajo on arrival at the airport in Makurdi, Benue State capital on Tuesday, May 15.

 

Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has arrived Makurdi, Benue State capital for a two-day working visit.

The Vice President is in Benue State to access the state which has been faced with a humanitarian crisis which is a sequel to incessant attacks that has resulted in the killings of many.

He was received at the airport by Governor Samuel Ortom and accompanied by Agriculture Minister, Audu Ogbeh, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja and other Federal Government officials.

Osinbajo is expected to visit the Abagana, Gbajimba and Anyii Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.

He is also expected to hold a stakeholders’ meeting with residents of the state.

Lawmakers Blame Poor Policy, Coordination for IDPs Crisis

The National Assembly says the current crisis in the management of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in Nigeria is a fallout from poor policy thrusts from government and absence of proper coordination of stakeholders in the sector.

The Chairman, House Committee on IDPs Refugees and Initiatives on the Northeast, Rep Sani Zorro, said this while speaking with journalists in Osogbo, the Osun state capital.

Zorro said that proper coordination has been discovered to be missing in the operations and management of the IDP camps which has opened doors for an all-comers affairs in the sector.

This, he said, has resulted to negative activities which has placed the country in bad perception globally.

According to Zoro “if policies were to be available, that policy would have clearly spelled out the roles, responsibilities and obligations of state institutions, nongovernmental organisations and so on.

“That will make it easier for everybody to operate within the space available; but now it is free for all, there is no coordination, and there is no communication among all the actors in the humanitarian Sector.”

He believes “there is also no effective collaboration among agencies of government and that is why you hear about abuses in the camp, you hear about corruption like diversion of food items meant for IDPs”.

“We have investigated and visited camps to ascertain the extent of this unfortunate situation.

“The recent report by Human Rights Watch which says there are cases of rape, unwanted pregnancies and general abuses of displaced persons, especially women, now I have read the report very carefully and I endorsed it but there are some explanations that need to be tendered, which probably the Human Rights Watch didn’t consider.‎

“Peculiarities in terms of culture and tradition need to be taken into account. What can constitute an abuse in one country may not be considered so in some other environment because of the tradition,” he said.

He, however, affirmed that steps would be taken on revising the security and operational setups across the IDP camps.

“They have taken their time to investigate. We have not only recognised the content of the report, we are working hard to address them,‎” he said.

Agency Prepares For Evacuation In Anambra’s Flood-prone Areas

ANAMBRA, SEMA, Flood sensitisation, FloodingThe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Anambra has begun preparation for evacuation of persons in flood-prone area just as the rains intensify. 

The agency said it would ensure that that residents in the area who may be displaced in the area get adequate help.

Officials of the agency are currently touring Local Government Areas to interact with communities expected to be affected by flooding.

Anambra is one of the 11 predicted flood-prone states and majority of the residents living around flood-prone areas of the state have started making serious efforts to ensure they are not caught unawares by the disaster.

Some residents of some states have been displaced by flood, as predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, due to their refusal to heed the warnings.

This is a situation the agency is making efforts to guard against in Anambra State.

According to the executive secretary of the agency in the state, Anambra has 28 camps ready for those that might be displaced.

 

 

Flood Predictions Trigger Residents Relocation In Anambra

flood, residents of Anambra, NEMA, Predictions by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), have forced the government and people of Anambra State in flood prone areas to commence preparations to relocate.

According to the nation’s meteorologists, 11 states, including Anambra will be affected.

The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has embarked on a sensitisation tour of the 10 Local Government areas of Anambra State that are flood prone.

Relevant stakeholders and organisations that will assist in disseminating the flood alert information to the grassroots are also involved.

River Size Increase

Life in Otuocha, a community in Anambra East local Government area of the state still appears to be flourishing and there is yet to be any signs of flooding, as the river is not surging towards the land.

Residents, who stay close to the riverine areas, say business and transportation activities are fully on-going at the marine market despite noticeable increase in the size of the river.

They said that  in spite of the August break, which signals that the prediction, as against that of 2014, may be true, they were prepared for the eventuality, should it come.


During the 5th general seminar of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, the Executive Secretary of SEMA, Mr Paul Odenigbo, urged traditional institutions, especially those in the flood prone areas, to help sensitise the community members to begin gathering their valuables ahead of time.

In an interview, the Executive Secretary of SEMA told reporters that the government was fumigating and preparing the 21 IDP camps across the state and urged the people to heed the flood warning.

The people, however, appealed to the government to provide speed boats which would facilitate easy and quick evacuation of their belongings when the time comes.

Swept Away

Meanwhile, few days after the flood alert was issued, one of the states mentioned – Kano – experienced flood that swept away at least 5,300 houses.

It occurred in  six local government areas of Kano State.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Agency, Mr Aliyu Bashir, the affected local government areas include, Bebeji, Dawakin Kudu, Kiru Shanono, Bagwai and Garun Mallam.

On Tuesday, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it believed the Federal and State governments were better prepared to avert a humanitarian crisis after recent flood alerts.

The Director General of NEMA, Sani Sidi, expressed hopes of government’s readiness, stressing that early warning provided must be matched with early action.

Mix Feelings As Yobe Government Closes IDP Camp

IDP Camp, Yobe GovernmentIt was mix feelings as the Yobe State government closed the Bukar Ali IDP camp located south of Damaturu, the state capital.

The closure of the camp according to the Executive Secretary of the Yobe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) was sequel to request by the IDPs to return to their ancestral home, owing to relative peace being enjoyed across the state and the northeast as a whole.

While it was a thing of joy for the people to go back home after the return of peace in the troubled areas, especially for the parents, the children were sad that their educational development have been truncated.

The area of concern in the return of the IDPs was that it would greatly affect the curriculum of children who have within the period been enrolled into the educational system at the camp being run by the Army Education Corps.

The children, according to their teacher, Oke Eke of the Army Education Corps, have greatly improved over the period of their stay but their return would deal a big blow to their educational development.

Similarly, the President of the Yobe State chapter of the National Council of Women Society, Halima Joda, expressed sadness over the return of the children to their ancestral homes saying it would have adverse effects on their education.

They called on government to make the educational development of the children a top priority by ensuring that as they return to their villages, teachers also resume at their duty posts to impact in them knowledge for the growth and development of the society.

The closure of the camp would affect 92 households where over 391 IDPs would return to their ancestral homes at Gambir, Malumti and Matirri villages.

Within the period of their stay at the camp, totalling 333 days, the Executive Secretary of SEMA, Idi Jidawa revealed that 35 million Naira was spent for establishing the camp, feeding and general upkeep of the displaced persons.

Each of the returning household, according to him, would also be given a return package to include; bags of rice, vegetable oil, cooking pot among other household equipment with 20,000 Naira cash.

Speaking on behalf of the returning IDPs, one of the pupils, Kasim Shetima, appreciated the contribution of the Yobe State government, the Nigeria Army, donor agencies and many others who contributed in taking care of them.

FG Directs Security Beef-up Around All IDP Camps

securityThe federal government has directed a beef-up of security in and around camps for internally displaced persons in the country with renewed measures put in place to guard against any further occurrence of suicide attacks and loss of lives in the camps.

This is coming on the heels of the suicide bombing at an IDP camp in Dikwa, Borno State, which left over 50 persons dead and nearly 100 injured.

In a statement from the office of the Vice President, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said that the full weight of the federal government’s force would be deployed to hunt down the perpetrators of this evil act.

Commiserating with the families of the victims and the entire people and government of Borno State, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said that there will be no hiding place for terrorists as all efforts would be doubled to confront terrorists continuously in the protection of lives, liberty and property of all Nigerians.

He also expressed regrets that the terror attack was carried out on persons who are already victims of terrorist attacks and taking temporary refuge at a displacement camp.

Two suicide bombers had infiltrated the Dikwa camp unnoticed and detonated their explosives while breakfast was being served.

The deceased victims were mostly women and children.