Borno Govt. Intends To Close IDP Camps Next Year

Borno Govt Intends To Close IDP Camps Next YearThe Borno State government says it intends to close all Internally Displaced People (IDP)’s camps by the first quarter of 2016.

Three out of the 20 Local councils sacked by insurgents since early this year have concluded plans to return to their original homes, following its liberation.

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, made known his plans on rebuilding of lost homes and closing up makeshift camps.

He called on the UN and other Non-Governmental Organisations to look beyond taking care of the IDPs camps to resettling the displaced persons.

“Our people need to go back home, resettled and pick up the pieces of their lives,” Governor Shettima said.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is also channelling its intervention programme towards rebuilding of destroyed communities.

NEMA’s Director General, Sani Sidi, observed that the agency had supported the development by donating building materials, as more communities prepare to return home. The agency also gave food items to the returning IDPs.

A Boko Haram suspect arrested by the youth vigilante group,who confessed to have masterminded recent suicide bombings in Mulai and Umarari, was later paraded before the State governor and NEMA officials.

NEMA, however, noted that some of the bomb victims would be taken to the National Hospital Abuja for further treatment.

IDPs Call For President Buhari’s Help To Return Home

IDPHundreds of people at the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, have called for fresh action by the new administration on the terrorist group, Boko Haram to enable them return home.

Many of them, who have found refuge at the camp for close to six years, complained of lack of attention by the government, save for the charity or religious groups who donate clothing and food items from time to time.

Surrounded by a thick forest, the IDP camp is complete with everything from utility store, to market and recreation centres.

Most of the camp’s residents have been there for more than six years since their villages came under attack by the Boko Haram sect, while others from surrounding towns have lived here for close to ten years.

Thousands of children reside in the camp with limited educational opportunities, lack of basic amenities and common health challenges.

A Businessman in the camp, Andrew Davies, expressed that with a new administration in place, all they want is visible change that would enable them return to their normal lives.

Another resident, Ladi Isaac, told Channels TV that she heard the news of the hand-over over the radio and hoped that it would bring greater progress in the battle against the terrorists.

It has been a particularly bitter experience for 34 year old John Peter, who had his mother and sisters abducted by Boko Haram. He also expressed hope that President Buhari’s administration would help bring them home.

The extent of the camp for several years is largely unchanged but the population has grown and the residents wait in anticipation to see what the change in government would translate to in their lives.

 

Police arrest 18 over Fulani-Gwari clash in Abuja

The police in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have arrested 18 suspects in connection with last weekend violent clash between Fulani herdsmen and Gwari communities in Gwako village in Gwagwalada area council.

The Federal Capital Police Chief; Mr Adenrele Shinaaba told Channels Television in Abuja that the suspects have given useful information to the police and investigations are near completion.

On its part, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) stated that although some of the victims have been released from the hospital while a four year old boy died yesterday at the camp as a result of inadequate medical treatment.

At the Internally Displaced Peoples’ (IDPs’) camp within the University of Abuja, workers of the National Emergency Management Agency were seen trying to move the displaced people to a new location provided by the University authority until a counter directive was given by the police to stop the plan for security reasons.

Complaints of disorderliness and open defecation were made by the IDPs around the school premises.

Inspite of this, the head of rescue team; Mr Lugard Slaku says there is no cause for alarm and that the relief materials are adequate.

The vice-chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Rarer association; Mr Abubakar Sulaiman also disclosed that some of those hospitalised have been discharged as he also confirmed the death of the four year old boy.

The police have given assurance that its investigations will help to fish out the perpetrators and prevent further crisis.

State and Local government must establish emergency agency-NEMA boss

In the wake of the disappointing rescue efforts for people affected by the flood disaster across the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for state and local government to establish Emergency Agency at their levels, because they are closer to the people.

This will enhance a prompt rescue mission to save lives whenever disasters strike. This was made known by NEMA’s Director of Search and Rescue, Mr Charles Otegbade on our breakfast show, Sunrise.

Responding to why the delay in rescuing people affected by the flood in Kogi which displaced almost a million people and claimed a number of lives, Mr Otegbade, stated that the agency got hold of the flood disaster in Ebaji (Kogi state) by 4PM and that the rescue team arrived at the disaster spot by 10AM the following day.

“We (NEMA) are a national body and the state and local government emergency agencies should have swung into action before our arrival because they are the closest to the people” he stated.

He also noted that the staff of national emergency agency had to be deployed from Benue state, which was already ravaged by the flood before the call came from to Kogi state.

“So the state and local governments must create these local agencies to quickly assist people whenever a disaster happens.”

He called for increased funding for the agency as well as other agencies that could assist in rescue operations.

“Idly, the Federal Fire Service should be the agency that will lead the rescue mission for flood disasters but because the Fire Service is in a dire state, they cannot do anything, all of these agencies need to developed by funding and manpower to enhance the rescue operations when needed.”

He added that “NEMA is essentially a strategic coordinating agency” as he quickly quipped that “but that does not precludes us (NEMA) from the operational tactics at the operational level.”

“NEMA should have just coordinated the efforts of every other agency if they were adequately equipped with equipment and manpower.”

Mr Otegbade stated that over 6,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are currently accommodated in IDP camps in Kogi state.

The rescue expert claimed the excessive rainfall and release of water from the dam in Cameroun were responsible for the flood.

“What we expressing is the downward movement of the accumulated water from River Niger and River Benue to Delta state” as he spoke about the flood disaster that has also affected the Niger-Delta.

 

Over 10,000 people displaced in Kogi, Benue flood-NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed relief materials to the camps where over 10,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from Kogi and Benue states are taking refuge after they were sacked from their homes with the ravaging flood across north central region of Nigeria.

A technical team from the agency visited areas devastated by the floods along the banks of Rivers Benue and Niger and their tributaries in states over the weekend to assess the damage and identify suitable intervention required to address the problem.

According to the team, most of the affected areas remained flooded with most of the displaced persons resorting to taking shelter in four camps.

The flood in Benue state is said to affect the communities in Makurdi, the state capital, along the river belt, while about nine local government areas were affected in Kogi State, with Ibaji Local Government Area almost submerged.

Other local government areas affected as Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Omala, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Igalamela and Lokoja, where property, including hotels, residential buildings, offices and fishing communities along the confluence of Rivers Benue and Niger have all been submerged.

NEMA’s Director of Planning, Research and Forecasting, Charles Agbo, during a meeting with  Kogi State governor, Wada Idris, warned of prolonged flooding as more water would still be released from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon and Kainji Dam with the intensifying rains.

He also urged the state government to enforce the standard regulation on urban planning and development as well as permanently relocate communities in the flood plains to safer locations.

“Even after the flood, most of the submerged houses may become too weak and no longer be safe for habitation, in addition to the potential health hazards from the disaster,” he warned.

“Therefore, the states governments must to rise up to their responsibilities to the affected communities as the Federal Government, through NEMA, would provide necessary support the displaced persons.”

The governor expressed concern of the Federal Government towards the flood situation and requested support to reinforce the efforts by the state government to assist the displaced persons, while urging NEMA and other relevant organizations to identify measures to mitigate future occurrence of the flood.