Rainstorm Wreaks Havoc In Borno IDP Camp

 

A rainstorm has blown off temporary shelters of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in a host community-based camp in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The camp located at Low-cost B Shagari Housing Estate is home to 40 households ejected from a private property last year.

The temporary shelter was provided by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

The storm which occurred this evening destroyed the fence as well as the makeshift tents.

Although no one sustained any injury, the IDPs, however, cried out for urgent assistance as they have now lost their homes.

see photos below:

Two Killed, 1,613 Households Razed As Fire Engulfs IDP Camp In Borno

Several Reported Dead As Fire Guts Borno IDP Camp
A file photo of the IDP camp gutted by fire in Borno State. Photo: [email protected]_Norway

 

About 1,613 houses at the Muna garage Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Maiduguri, have been gutted by fire.

Two persons who sustained severe burns died from their wounds.

Chairperson of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Yabawa Kolo said the incident happened on the eve of the Eid-El-Fitr.

Governor Babagana Zulum has visited the camp to ascertain the level of destruction caused by the fire.

READ ALSO: NSCDC Arrest Man In Ondo For Allegedly Defiling His Two Daughters

Zulum said the incessant fire incidences in makeshift camps further underscores why camps should be completely closed down in the state.

The governor revealed that the federal government has approved the construction of ten thousand housing units across the state, withnthe affected population in mind.

He said the construction will commence immediately funds are released to bring an end to the idea of living in temporary shelters.

In the first quarter of this year alone, several IDP camps in Nganzai, Ngala, Mafa and Monguno local governments were gutted by fire as a result of the cluster settlement of the people.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan Mourns Victims Of Borno IDP Fire, Lockdown Extrajudicial Killings

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has commiserated with the victims of the fire incident that occurred on Thursday at a camp housing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ngala, Borno State.

Lawan mourned the 14 who lost their lives and sympathised with those injured in the inferno.

The Senate President commiserated with the Government and people of Borno State over the tragic incident.

Lawan called on relevant authorities to investigate the incident with a view to averting a re-occurrence.

READ ALSO: Fire Kills 14 People At Borno IDP Camp, Buhari Mourns

In another development, the Senate President condemned in strong term the cases of extra-judicial killings by security agents as reported by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the course of the enforcement of the lockdown ordered in parts of the country to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.

Lawan said he was saddened by the report by the NHRC that 18 persons were killed by high-handed security officers tasked to enforce the stay-at-home directives.

The Senate President said that extra-judicial killings, in whatever guise, should be discouraged in our society. He called for a thorough investigation of the cases and that those indicted be promptly brought to account.

“Life is sacred. It is a tragedy that those asked to enforce compliance with emergency measures adopted for public safety are now being accused of responsibility for needless and totally avoidable deaths of citizens,” Lawan said.

The Senate President said any officer found culpable of unprofessional use of weapons should as a standard practice be made to face prosecution.

Lawan urged Nigerians to continue to cooperate with the authorities as they strive to defend the country against the deadly virus.

Fire Kills 14 People At Borno IDP Camp, Buhari Mourns

Buhari Condemns Gombe Killings, Condoles With Victims' Families
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

 

At least 14 people have been killed by fire at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Borno State.

The incident, which occurred on Thursday evening in Ngala Local Government Area of the state, also left many others injured.

However, the circumstances that led to the inferno have yet to be ascertained.

READ ALSO: 35 New Cases Of COVID-19 Confirmed By The NCDC

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed the casualty figure in a statement.

“President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday evening described as ‘extremely horrifying’, the news of the death of 14 persons and injury to many from a fire incident at an IDP camp in Ngala, Borno State,” the statement said.

The President who mourned the victims ordered the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development to investigate the incident.

He also asked the ministry to report the circumstances that led to the incident and advise on how a future occurrence would be averted.

President Buhari directed that urgently needed assistance be immediately given to the victims and prayed to Allah for the repose of the souls of those whose lives were lost.

He also wished the injured persons quick recovery.

Focus Less On IDP Camps, Zulum Tells Refugee Commission

A file photo of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.

 

Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has asked that interventions from the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and internally displaced persons should focus on creating permanent resettlement houses for displaced persons as against investing on government-controlled IDP camps.

The governor made this appeal on Wednesday in Maiduguri while hosting Senator Basheer Lado Garba Mohammed, the federal commissioner in charge of the refugee commission who led a delegation that included a representative of Qatar Foundation.

Zulum said while the state will continue to provide and coordinate donor humanitarian interventions for the welfare of displaced persons, it is, however, time to move from the phase of proliferation of IDP camps to stabilizing displaced persons by resettling them in permanent houses and providing them with means of livelihoods in safe areas that could be near existing IDP camps.

READ ALSO: Insurgents Release Three Aid Workers, Others Abducted In Borno

Zulum said: “We are happy with all your interventions. However, we will request that you do not focus on IDP camps but rather on stabilization for the IDPs and by that, I mean contributing in the construction of resettlement houses which can be allocated to households as their permanent places to live and we then provide them with means of livelihoods to sustain themselves.

“As a government, we are moving from the phase of enhancing IDP camps to resettlement. By resettlement, I do not mean having to go and build houses elsewhere, the houses could be near the IDP camps, we will provide the land.”

The Governor also said his administration has created an agency for the coordination of all humanitarian donors and development activities in the state for the purpose of streamlining so as to stop duplications and give policy direction in which case, the state government will take lead in determining its priorities and policy direction.

Senator Basheer, in his response, said Qatar foundation, a charity, and development platform, which has a representative ‎in his team, was interested in building a resettlement camp hence it required land to be allocated by the state government to which Zulum gave commitment.

The federal commissioner revealed that his commission had trained a number of displaced persons on vocational skills and established some businesses for them.

Niger IDPs Reject Government’s Relief Materials

 

Internally Displaced Persons in Niger State taking shelter in some temporary camps have rejected relief materials donated to them by the state government.

According to them, the government has handled their plight with levity.

Read Also: IDPs Protest In Niger, Demand Security In Camps

They, therefore, insist on getting a permanent solution to the incessant security challenges in their communities.

Over 5,000 persons are currently taking shelter in five camps provided by the state government after bandits attacked several communities including Rafa and Shiroro.

PHOTOS: IDPs Protest In Niger, Demand Security In Camps

Some aggrieved Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), on Thursday, blocked Tegina-Minna road in Niger State.

The IDPs, mostly women, and children were protesting over alleged negligence and lack of adequate security in there IDP camps.

READ ALSO: Northern Governors Meet To Chart New Course For The Region

They also blamed the state government for abandoning them since they have sought refuge at the camp after banditry attacks sacked heir communities.

Over five thousand persons are currently taking shelter in five IDPs camps provided by the Niger State government after bandits attacked several communities in areas including Rafa and Shiroro in the state.

 

See photos from the protest below…

371 IDPs Rendered Homeless As Fire Razes Houses In Borno Camps

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

Over 140 homes have been razed by fire at two Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed that the fire incidents were recorded on Saturday night at the Flatari and Ngurno IDP camps with a total of 371 residents rendered homeless by the blaze.

READ ALSO: SERAP Asks Governor Dickson To Reject Life Pension Bill For Lawmakers

According to a statement by NEMA’s Northeast Information Officer, Abdulkezo Ibrahim, 28 shelters were destroyed at Flatari camp, displacing 20 households, while at Ngurno 120 shelters were razed and 77 households were rendered homeless.

NEMA says it is liaising with the Borno State Emergency Management Agency and other humanitarian partners to provide an update and mobilize resources for response.

This is the second fire incident recorded in an IDP camp in Monguno Local Government, the first being in February this year at the stadium camp.

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

The Theatre Command Special Court Martial of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri has dismissed a Nigerian Air Force officer, Flight Lieutenant Martins Ewerem, for raping and assaulting a 14-year-old girl, an Internally Displaced Person (IDP).

The girl, said to be living in the Bakassi IDP camp in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, was reported to have gone to fetch firewood in a nearby bush when the incident occurred.

Delivering a judgement at the Officers’ Mess of the Maimalari Cantonment, the President of the Court, Major General Yakubu Aura, said the court found Ewerem guilty of some of the charges brought against him.

READ ALSOOver 30,000 People Need Food, Shelter In Monguno – MSF

The accused was dismissed for being found guilty of the first count charge, but acquitted of the second while he was found guilty of the third count.

He was sentenced to dismissal on the first count of raping the teenager on September 29, 2018, during his patrol duty around Dalwa area of Molai on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolitan council.

The President of the Court explained that the accused was discharged and acquitted for assaulting the minor, which was the second charge.

On the third count, Ewerem was sentenced to reduction in rank from Flight Lieutenant to Flight Officer, and loss of seniority for six years in both the present and future rank.

This translates to three years as Flight Lieutenant and three years as Flight Officer.

Major General Auta noted that the judgement of the court was subject to the final decision of the highest Nigerian Armed Forces authority, as provided for by the law and in the Armed Forces Act.

Reading the summary of both defence and prosecuting witnesses, the Court Judge Advocate, Captain Aminu Mairuwa, said the accused was facing three counts of defiling, assault, and disobedience of standing order.

He said, “The accused who was on a special patrol mission from Dalwa unit, was said to have seen the victim and her friends, who went to fetch firewood. On sighting them, he ordered his soldiers to arrest them, accusing them of being suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers, and asked them to lie down.

“Despite not finding anything incriminating, the accused dragged the victim into the bush … where he eventuality defiled and assaulted her.”

The victim was said to have been taken to the International Rescue Committee Hospital in Bakassi camp, where she underwent physical examinations.

The results revealed that there were bruises on her body and penetration into her private part.

Several Reported Dead As Fire Guts Borno IDP Camp

Several Reported Dead As Fire Guts Borno IDP Camp
A photo of the IDP camp gutted by fire in Borno State. Photo: [email protected]_Norway

 

Several people are feared killed in a fire that broke out in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Gajiram, Nganzai Local Government Area of Borno State.

The incident, which occurred on Thursday, claimed the lives of four people – two children and two elderly persons — according to the media officer of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Ibrahim Uba.

He disclosed that no fewer than 4,000 households were affected by the fire while the only hospital in the community was also razed down.

READ ALSONine Killed, Houses Razed As Gunmen Invade Another Kaduna Community

Uba added that a high-level delegation constituted by SEMA had visited Gajiram to assess the extent of damage and get first-hand information from those affected.

Meanwhile, a humanitarian organisation, Norwegian Refugee Council, said it gathered that eight people died and two others critically injured at the affected hospital.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, it noted that more than 10,000 homes were destroyed while about 15,000 people were displaced as a result of the inferno.

According to the organisation, the fire started as a result of a spark from a cooking stove used by a child preparing her food.

But an eye witness told Channels Television that the inferno was fuelled by a whirlwind, which made it spread fast, burning down shelters in the camp.

It said the victims of the incident were dispersed and seeking shelter under trees and many of them exposed to direct sunlight.

Three persons had died in a similar fire outbreak which occurred in February at an IDP camp in Monguno Local Government Area of the state.

Read the tweets below:

Overstretched Resources, Mass Displacement In Borno Camps Worry UN

A new settlement/ IDP Camp under construction in Borno State.

 

The ongoing insurgency in the North East has continued to take its toll on the people in the affected communities, leaving thousands displaced and helpless.

With the steady increase in the number of displaced persons, resources have become overstretched and among other things, the health risks are at an all-time-high as IDP camps get over-crowded.

Twenty-year-old Aisha Ali who is a mother of three and a divorcee from Monguno Local Government Area in Borno State, is one of the many victims of the insurgency in Nigeria’s North East.

Read Also: Several Reported Dead As Fire Guts Borno IDP Camp

Teary-eyed and carrying her twin babies in each arm, she narrated her ordeal to Channels Television.

 

“I am not originally from this camp. I went to Jiddari where there was a temporary shed for displaced people. So I stayed with a woman I met there. But when they came and killed people we all ran away,” she said.

Many had fled to the Teachers’ Village where an IDP camp has now been established.

 

It was initially built in January 2014 by the Borno State Government to serve as an accommodation for teachers in the state but by 2015 it became home to thousands of displaced persons fleeing from the insurgents.

Since November 2018, the camp has absorbed more than 20,000 newly displaced persons, bringing its total population to over 31,000 as against the planned capacity of about 5,000.

Congested IDP camp

 

“This camp initially is meant for about five or six thousand people but it has close to 10,000 because comfortably, people are living there. But there has been a mass influx of people as a result of the insurgency, so its population is now over 31 thousand,” an official of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Borno, Usman Kachalla said.

 

 

The development has also become a source of serious concern for humanitarian partners like the UN who say they are worried about the imminent dangers such as fire accidents or disease outbreaks, among other things, associated with such congested living conditions.

But the Borno State government is stepping in to help in this regard by constructing new shelters for the displaced persons.

Already, some of the IDPs have started to relocate to the alternative shelter provided by the state government. One of the women leaders, Lami Mohammed, expressed gratitude over the new settlement.

“You cannot compare how we live here and the other place. Honestly, in the past we really faced difficult times; cold, mosquitoes and we were just outside. Our husbands slept in the open but here, we have our dignity and privacy and there’s enough space for everyone”.

 

Despite the provision of the basic amenities by the government, the welfare of the IDPs remains a topic of concern especially as women and children consist about 87% of the displaced population.

How Terror Attacks Threaten To Deprive IDPs Their Franchise In Adamawa

Nigerian Army Donates Instructional Materials To Adamawa IDPs

 

A few weeks ago INEC in conjunction with the European Union had expressed concerns over the non-inclusion of a reasonable number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) living in the two IDP camps in Yola, Adamawa state.

The event was to sensitize the IDPs for the general elections.

It is now a few hours before the first ballots are cast, the question then is, ‘what preparations have been put in place to ensure that those with updated permanent voter cards have to the opportunity to elect their own leaders?’.

The two IDP camps in Adamawa state have a population of about 2600 persons including women and children.

Out of this number, about 900 IDPs in the two camps of Malkohi and Fufore have their PVCs.What is however worrisome is that less than twenty persons at the Malkohi camp will be able to exercise their franchise by casting their votes in polling units in the nearby communities.

A large number of them were not able to transfer their polling units because, according to them, they were shut out of the revalidation process.

The woman leader at the Malkohi IDP Camp in Yola, Mrs Fatimah Hassan said she registered for the elections in Marraraba Mubi and had to escape from Boko Haram to this camp at the peak of insurgency.

READ ALSO: How 409,000 IDPs, Others Will Vote In Borno – INEC

“I don’t know if there is an arrangement to take us to Mubi because since yesterday I was prepared to go and cast my votes. There are others who are also in the same condition with me in this camp but we cannot participate” she lamented.

She, therefore, appealed to the government to assist the IDPs in possession of their PVCs to return to their units to vote for their leader.

Adams Ali.

When they started the revalidation exercise we were not informed that there will be elections, we were completely forgotten. This card is the one we escaped with from Boko Haram invasion.. This is what am holding now. We are treated as if we are not Nigerians at all.

Some of the eligible voters in the Malkohi IDP camp express their frustration over this development.

Buba Gwuhari

” We had series of meetings on our participating in the elections by those of us in this IDP camp. Those of us with the PVCs will go to communities around Malkohi camp to cast our votes.”

Adams Ali

” It is now certain that those eligible to participate in the elections will not be allowed by INEC because of the Inability of the authorities to include them in the exercise.”

The INEC Director of Publicity Mrs Rifkatu Maxwell while reacting to the inability to capture the IDPs said sometimes ago INEC had a voter registration for eighteen months before it was closed.

She argued that the responsibility of letting INEC know of the case of the IDPs lies I’m the hand of Adamawa state Emergency Management Agency and NEMA.

According to her, these agencies did not draw the attention of INEC to a large number of IDPs with this problem. If they have been notified INEC will have taken action, she concluded.

As things are, less than twenty persons are now eligible to participate in tomorrow’s presidential election if information from the IDPs is anything to go by.