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.

Three Killed As Fire Guts IDP Camp In Borno

 

Three persons have been killed in a fire outbreak that occurred at an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Monguno, Borno State.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed this in a statement on Friday by its Head of Media and Public Relations, Mr Sani Datti.

According to him, the incident occurred on Thursday at the camp which houses nearly 8,000 IDPs.

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, while sympathising with the victims said the fire started in a family cooking area in front of a shelter made of straw, bamboo and plastic sheeting, sweeping through the Stadium Camp.


RELATED

NEMA Confirms Three Killed In Borno IDP Camp Fire

UN Humanitarian Coordinator In Nigeria Sympathizes With Victims Of Fire Outbreak In Borno IDP Camp


See Photos Below

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Sympathizes With Victims Of Borno IDP Camp Fire

Remains of the blaze in a camp in Monguno, Borno State, Nigeria. 7 February 2019. Photo: Barka Joseph/IOM

 

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has expressed his sympathy to those affected by a fire outbreak in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Monguno town, Borno State.

In a statement issued on Friday, Kallon said nearly 8,000 IDPs who are residents of the camp were affected by the incident.

According to him, the fire started in a family cooking area in front of a shelter made of straw, bamboo and plastic sheeting, and swept through the Stadium Camp.

It was said to have razed over 900 temporary shelters and claimed the lives of at least three people, including two children and one elderly woman.

“The impact of the fire outbreak on the already fragile lives of thousands of vulnerable women, children and men is tragic. The United Nations and our partners extend our condolences to the families of the people who died and our deepest sympathies to the victims of the fire,” said Mr. Kallon.

“The humanitarian community stands in solidarity with those affected. It is imperative to immediately identify additional land to build new shelters for the displaced people and decongest the existing camps.”

Read Also: NEMA Confirms Three Killed In Borno IDP Camp Fire

Many of the internally displaced people in Stadium Camp had fled Baga town, on the shores of Lake Chad, at the end of December 2018, following clashes between the military and non-state armed groups.

According to Kallon, this massive influx of people, all in need of shelter, food and other humanitarian assistance, has stretched the capacity of camps in Monguno, leading to congestion.

This congestion heightens the risk of fire outbreaks with makeshift and temporary shelters built too closely together in the confined spaces.

He, however, noted that humanitarian actors, in support of the Federal Government, are working to identify additional land for the construction of shelters to accommodate the displaced people and mitigate fire hazards.

According to him, awareness campaigns are also being done to inform people living in the camps on ways to prevent fire outbreaks.

IDPs: Womens Rights Group Calls For Prosecution Of Govt Officials Accused Of Sexual Abuses

 

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) has called for urgent investigations and prosecution of all government officials accused of committing sexual abuses against women in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in the northeast.

The Senior Program Coordinator, Mrs Anisah Ari, made the call for the prosecution on Friday at a meeting with survivors of sexual abuses in Abuja.

According to her, most female victims of sexual abuses in the IDP camps are forced into sex by camp attendants including some security officials who request for sex in exchange for food.

 

She said, “Those who have been sent out to protect these women and girls in the IDP camps are actually the perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence, engaging these women in survival sex, where they give sex in demand for food”.

The Federal Government had enacted the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015 to punish offenders.

However, the women rights group believes that the with the increase of displaced persons especially in the northeast, various kinds of abuses have been on the rise.

According to the group, if not checked, it would result in health complications for many of the victims which in turn makes them live in isolation as a result of shame and stigma.

China Donates N6m Worth Of Relief Materials To Plateau IDPs

 

The Peoples Republic of China has donated relief materials worth about N6 million to Internally Displaced Persons in Plateau State.

Deputy Chinese Ambassador, Mr Lin Jing, presented the items during a ceremony organised by the Civil-Military Relief Initiative and Operation Safe Haven on Friday at the Angul Di Internally Displaced camp, Jos.

 

Benue SEMA Bans Political Activities In IDP Camps

Govt Bans Political Activities In Benue IDP Camps

 

The Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has banned all forms of political gatherings in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps across the state.

The agency announced the ban in a statement issued on Friday by its Executive Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Shior, following a political rally in one of the camps at Daudu in October.

Mr Shior explained that the decision became necessary in order to avoid any public embarrassment on the displaced persons and to stop political figures from using the IDPs’ misfortunes for cheap capital.

He decried that the rally which held on Friday last week left behind many issues that deserve very strong caution and portray some political leaders in a very bad light.

The SEMA boss said, “Let it be noted that cross carpeting in the Nigerian context of politicking can be done at any time by anybody, but the manner the Daudu event was done leaves much to be desired for those cross carpeting and the ones receiving them.

“The choice of the venue is unacceptable and should be condemned in totality by all well-meaning Benue people and indeed Nigerians.”

Mr Shior admitted that there was no doubt that the IDPs were readily available to listen to anybody that visits them.

He added that the IDPs were always eager to hear the good news that they would soon return to their homes where they have been forced to stay away for about one year.

According to him, the most condemnable aspect of the action of the politicians is the intimidation and harassment of IDPs by heavily armed security personnel guarding members of the party.

“Some of the IDPs who spoke with me accused some party thugs of manhandling them when they spoke glowingly about the Benue State Government with regard to their upkeep in the camp upon interrogation.

“Checks revealed that a woman, who had a fracture in the course of the manhandling, is currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed location,” the executive secretary said.