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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
The United Nations has called on the Nigerian Government to step up efforts towards protecting innocent people from acts of violence in the country.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, made the call in a statement following Wednesday’s Boko Haram attack on an Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp and four villages in Borno State.
“I urge the Government of Nigeria to step up the protection of innocent people,” said Mr Kallon in the statement on Thursday in Abuja.
He condemned the terrorist attack on the settlements, especially on the IDP camp which hosts 12,600 civilians seeking refuge there after they were forced out of their homes by the violence in the North East.
The UN humanitarian coordinator noted that the insurgents killed at least eight people and injured dozens more, while women were kidnapped with houses looted and razed.
He added that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed that the violence left hundreds of persons displaced.
“Attacks on camps for internally displaced people threaten these innocent women, children and men who have already fled their homes as a result of the ongoing conflict,” Kallon decried.
“Our deepest condolences go to the families of the victims of this attack and we wish the injured a speedy recovery.”
The UN official explained that the attack took place in one of the nine IDP camps in Dalori and the camps which were set up since 2015 were home to 47,500 civilians.
More than 20 aid organisations are providing aid including food, safe water, sanitation, medicine and shelter to thousands of people.
Kallon said the terrorists attacked Dalori village in January 2016, killing no fewer than 100 people and burning most of the village down.
He described the humanitarian crisis in the North East, which has spilled over into the Lake Chad region, as one of the most severe in the world.
According to him, 7.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2018 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and 6.1 million targeted for humanitarian assistance.
Since the start of the conflict in 2009, thousands of people have been killed in the three states, with thousands of women and girls abducted used as so-called “suicide” bombers.
So far, at least 40 people have been killed with over 100 homes submerged by the flood.
The state governor, Abubakar Bello, says the situation is beyond the state’s control and has, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to intervene.
With the increase in rainfall and flooding across several states, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to declare it a national disaster.
Subsequently, the agency made the declaration in four states and placed eight others on the watch list.
The four states are Kogi, Niger, Delta and Anambra.
Prior to that development, NEMA’s Director-General, Mustapha Maihaja, had inaugurated five Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) to facilitate prompt search and rescue operations as well as humanitarian support in the 12 worst-hit states.
The Emergency Response Centres will be responsible for planning, organising, directing and supervising deployment of resources with the affected state governments and local authorities and communities.
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killing of an aid worker, Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, who was kidnapped at an Internally Displaced Persons camp by Boko Haram terrorists about six months ago in Borno State.
In a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu on Monday, the President described the act as heinous and despicable.
He also called for the assistance of Nigeria’s international partners to stop the acts of barbarism.
He said, “the government of Nigeria strongly condemns this reprehensible and inhuman act. No religion permits the killing of the innocent. Saifura worked for the Red Cross, a humanitarian organization tirelessly working to bring succor to all the victims of violence irrespective of the sides of the conflict.”
The statement further disclosed that the terrorists have equally threatened to harm others, including the lone Dapchi school girl, Leah Sharibu, still in their custody.
President Buhari, however, gave the assurance that his administration will seize every given opportunity to bring home all citizens held against their will by the terrorists.
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country that his administration will leave no stone unturned in restoring their devastated communities for their immediate and safe return.
He gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja in a statement by Attah Esa, the Deputy Director of Information at the State House.
The President congratulated the 2,000 IDPs at the Kuchingoro Camp in the Federal Capital Territory who are getting set to return to their communities in the North-east.
He spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, who received the IDPs at the precincts of the Aso Rock Villa on his behalf.
President Buhari vowed that his administration would not forget citizens in their time of distress and would continue to work for the betterment and security of the people.
He also used the opportunity to thank members of the international community and Nigerians, including Mr Aliko Dangote, General T.Y. Danjuma, and other philanthropists, for their sustained efforts towards the reconstruction and rehabilitation of destroyed communities in the troubled region.
Responding on behalf of the displaced persons who were mainly women and children, Mrs Maryam Nuhu thanked President Buhari’s administration for the onslaught against the Boko Haram terrorists and the ongoing reconstruction of their communities.
She said, “Our towns and villages have been cleared of these terrorists. We can now confidently return home and pick up our lives from the points where we will meet them.
“Mr President, thanks for making this possible for us to be returning home. Our sad story took a turn for the better because of the calibre of military leaders you appointed.”
The Benue State Government has asked medical practitioners to address the health challenges among the over 170,000 Internally Displaced Persons taking refuge in seven camps.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Cecilia Ojabo made the call during the flag off of a three-day medical outreach organised by the Nigerian Air Force Medical Corps at the Abagana IDP camp in Makurdi.
The medical outreach became necessary following the death of Six IDPs, mostly children who were worst hit by the humanitarian crisis, starvation and malnutrition among the other children in the camps.
For three months running, local farmers and vulnerable groups like women, the elderly and children, have been displaced from their communities in Guma, Logo, Agatu, Okpokwu and Makurdi local councils.
The IDP camps, built to accommodate far less than 10,000 persons, now accommodates between 15, 000 to 34, 000 IDPs.
However, the health implication of overcrowding here is the outbreak of communicable diseases like cholera, malaria and diarrhoea among the IDPs.
But the Heath Commissioner has urged them to take advantage of the medical aid, as she beckons on medical practitioners for support.
With the three days health intervention, part of the humanitarian crisis is being addressed, but food shortage, adequate water supply and the need to step up security for the safe return would be appropriate at this time.
Humanitarian workers have pulled out of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The decision followed the outbreak of violence in the camp during a protest by the IDPs over the quantity of food brought in for distribution.
The Gubio Road IDP camp is home to displaced persons from 11 local governments of the state, and one of the 13 government recognised IDP camps in Maiduguri.
The needs of the affected population are enormous and almost insatiable, even with the team of government aid agencies and humanitarian partners.
On Saturday last week, displaced persons were angry with the quantity of food brought in for distribution and reacted violently, smashing cars and injuring some humanitarian workers until security forces contained the mayhem.
Following the incident, all humanitarian activities in the camp were suspended until the safety of the humanitarian workers was guaranteed.
– Two Bowls Of Sorghum A Month –
One of the IDPs, Ibrahim Abubakar, explained the reasons for the protest during an interview when Channels Television crew visited the camp.
Abubakar said, “We were angry with these people (humanitarian workers) not because of the sorghum they gave us, but because we simply asked for a quantity that would adequately feed us and our families.”
“Two bowls cannot sustain us for a whole month, no one can survive on two bowls of sorghum for a whole month; that is our problem. But if they bring food that would sustain us up to a month we would be happy.”
Another displaced person, Maimuna Kassum, said, “The protest was done because of the delay in food distribution and when they finally came, they didn’t bring enough. That was why people protested.”
“In the past, they used to give us rice but this time around they brought sorghum; two bowls for every family for the next one month.
“It won’t be enough since we have children and that’s why people got impatient and did what they did. With this kind of problems, returning home would have been better for us, it’s just that we don’t have a home when we return,” she lamented.
– Choice Of Rice Over Sorghum –
On its part, the Borno State Emergency Management Agency condemned the attack on aid workers by the angry IDPs in their camp.
The Chairman of SEMA, Ahmed Satomi, noted that the protest was not as a result of food shortage in the camp as claimed, but the choice of food requested by the IDPs.
Satomi said, “The Gubio incident is not an issue of insufficient food but a breach of communication, based on complaints by the IDPs over their choices of rice over sorghum while others preferred sorghum over rice.”
“So in the process, there was a delay for about one week while we were trying to sort things out and then an issue came up that if they are taking sorghum, the ration has to be increased.
“All these should not give them room to attack humanitarian workers, this is unacceptable and we are working with the security agencies to arrive at a common ground so that the distribution will continue,” he explained.
The SEMA Chairman said the efforts of the military has reduced the number of IDPs living in camps in Maiduguri in the last few weeks from 158,000 to 147,000.
He noted that the return process was, however, voluntary in line with the Kampala Convention.
Earlier, the UNHCR had stated that the needs of the affected population living in IPD camps can never be satisfied through humanitarian means.
The UNHCR’s Representative to Nigeria/ ECOWAS, Antonio Canhandula, who addressed a gathering in Borno State last week, said the only viable solution was to work towards returning the IDPs home.
“We can never have enough for the IDPs. We are talking about hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who are in need and you cannot continue assisting these populations in a humanitarian form forever.
“You also have other humanitarian responsibilities around the world and there is competition for resources and then the best thing is to help the government to create conditions for people to return home. It will never be enough,” Canhandula said.
Three persons have been killed following a suicide bombing attack at Dalori 1 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the northeast National Emergency Management Agency, Abdulkadir Ibrahim revealed that the incident occured at about 11.20 PM on Sunday.
According to the statement, two suicide bombers (a male and female) detonated their Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at the IDP camp leading to the death of three persons while 17 others were injured.
Another incident was said to have occurred at Dalori 2 IDP camp where a suicide bomber was intercepted leading to the death of only the bomber.
The statement said injured persons have been administered with first aid and moved to hospitals in Maiduguri, the state capital.
This incident is coming hours after three female suicide bombers were killed by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole while trying to infiltrate their location at Kawuri Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
The suicide bombers were spotted by a vigilant sentry while trying to access the military location.
They were challenged severally and continued advancing, declining several warnings to stop.
Consequently, the troops neutralised them instantly.