Yobe Govt. Calls On WHO To Support Rehabilitation of IDPs

Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam

The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to scale up its activities in the state, and contribute towards the post insurgency plans of rehabilitating the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.

The Governor stated this when he received the WHO country representative for Nigeria, Dr. Alemu Wondi at the Government House Damaturu, the state capital.

He said scaling up their activities in the state is required because no government, agency or Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) can on its own handle humanitarian crisis without any assistance.

“As the enormity of the humanitarian crises is monumental that no government, agency or NGO however endowed can handle, we decide to galvanized local, national and global support in addressing the numerous challenges.

“Hence we request the WHO to further scale up its activities in our state and key into our collaboration drive to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the envisaged multi-sectorial post insurgency intervention plan in the state”, the governor said.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam also said scaling up the activities of the WHO and other international donor agencies according to the Governor, will enable the state achieve its set targets of healthier society for a healthy nation.

The Governor revealed that the state recently convened a humanitarian stakeholders retreat on coordination of humanitarian services for post conflict recovery and reconstruction, so as to ensure proper return and settlement of IDPs in the state.

He, however, commended the WHO for providing technical support for the conduct of monthly disease surveillance, review of surveillance focal site and outbreak investigation in the state among others.

The WHO country representative, Dr. Wondi congratulated the Yobe state government for the huge successes recorded in the fight against polio over the last three years.

“Let me congratulate the state for maintaining a polio free state for the past three years and let me put it on record that the polio committee under the leadership of the state Deputy Governor has been doing a fantastic work”, the country representative said.

He also described as enormous, the progress made so far in the health sector by Governor Gaidam and the remodeling of the major hospitals in the state, the setting up of the Yobe state University Teaching Hospital, the maternal and neonatal as well as the free medical services for pregnant mothers and accident victims among others.

Dr. Wondi assured to partner the state in improving the health care services across the state in the post insurgency era.

The WHO among several other agencies, government and NGOs have over the years been playing a key role in improving life among the people in developed as well as, developing states in the world.

Borno Govt. Enrolls 250 Displaced Students For 2017 WAEC Exams

Borno Govt. Enroll 250 Displaced Students For 2017 WAEC ExamsThe Borno State Government, has enrolled 250 internally displaced boys and girls to sit for the 2017 West African Examination Council’s (WAEC), graduation exams for secondary school students.

94 girls and 156 boys from different Local Governments in the state whose schools and communities were attacked ‎by Boko Haram, resulting in their displacement are the beneficiaries of the government’s benefits.

It was the first time Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’S) are writing the WAEC since they were forced out of their homes by Boko Haram insurgents at different times in 2014.

The students are mostly from Kukawa, Gwoza, Ngala, Bama, Monguno, Guzamala and Nganzai Local Government Areas.

The students wrote practicals on Wednesday at three WAEC centres; Government College, Government Girls College and ‎Mustapha Umar Elkanemi Arabic Teachers College all in Maiduguri.

The 250 IDPs were those who passed a special mock exam conducted for about 1,000 IDPs who were in final year at secondary schools before they were displaced.

The mock exams were meant to evaluate the IDPs that were able to catch up after undergoing classes and comprehensive tutorials organized for them in camps on the orders of the state governor, Kashim Shettima.

“Governor Kashim Shettima released funds to the Borno State Emergency Management Agency which was used to pay the WAEC fees of all the students.

“Mock exam was organized for over 1,000 IDPs but out of them, 250 did well and were believed to be emotionally and academically set for the 2017 WAEC”, the Government House statement said.

Governor Shettima had authorized the purchase of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) forms for the 250 students while some of the 1,000 IDPs who showed some good signs after the mock exams will receive further coaching.

“They will undergo more tutorials to prepare them for the next WAEC examinations in their communities, since the government doesn’t hope that they remain IDP’S by 2018”, the statement concluded.

Military Assures Humanitarian Agencies Of Support On IDPs

Military Commits To Ridding Northeast Of InsurgentsThe Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, has stated that the military outfit is tirelessly rendering support to myriads of Humanitarian Agencies, to alleviate the sufferings of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other locals in a bid to win the peace and restore development in the region.

General Irabor made this disclosure during a meeting with the Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), Omar Abdi, who led a four-man delegation to the Headquarters Theatre Command on Wednesday.

Describing UNICEF as a household name in Nigeria, the Theatre Commander further stated that the military outfit regularly interfaces with UNICEF and other Humanitarian Agencies through its Civil-Military Affairs Department, to facilitate their activities in the North East.

Irabor called on UNICEF to strengthen developmental infrastructures such as medical and educational facilities in the localities, to enable those IDPs who had returned to their communities have access to health and educational infrastructures.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, commended the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for a successful campaign against terrorism, cataloged the objectives of UNICEF in the North East to include concerns for life saving activities, humanitarian activities, nutritional health, education and protection of children.

He expressed the desire of the international body to expand its humanitarian activities to those areas where the body is yet to access.

However, he added that the support of Operation Lafiya Dole is very crucial to the expansion.

Yobe Govt. Flags Off Distribution Of Radio Sets To IDP’s

Yobe, Yobe state government on Tuesday, commenced the distribution of 5000 radio sets to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) in the state.

The government believes giving the IDP’s transistor radio sets would keep them conversant with happenings across the globe.

Flagging off the distribution exercise at the Pompomari IDP camp in Damaturu the state capital, the state commissioner of home affairs, information and culture, Aji Bularafa, said it would also enable them contribute their opinions in the daily activities of governments.

The commissioner noted with dismay, that the activities of the Boko Haram insurgency displaced the people, thereby depriving them access to timely and accurate information.

“Today’s occasion is catalyzed by the North East Regional Initiative (NERI), to fill the gap in the information dissemination process in our communities.

“The 5,000 radio sets are provided to the state government by NERI, through bilateral agreement for distribution to IDP’s in the 17 LGA’s of the state.

“It is my fervent hope and believe that these radio sets would help in providing the necessary information on the activities of government to the IDP’s, which may eventually enlighten and educate them, thereby giving them the opportunity to express their views and opinions,” the commissioner said.

yobe-idp
Internally Displaced Persons In Yobe

He disclosed that the state government has been magnanimous in the area of providing both food and non-food items to the IDP’s.

The state coordinator of the North East Regional Initiative (NERI) Mr Kachalla Abacha, also added that the aim of providing the IDP’s with the transistor radio is to bridge the gap between the government and the governed in the area of keeping themselves up to date with happenings.

He described the radio as an indispensable companion that would help them know and contribute to the nation’s development, he therefore urged beneficiaries to make the best use of the facility.

“Radio is a ubiquitous medium which is very important in the area of educating, entertainment and enlightening the populace.

“This medium will help them know of developments and contribute their opinions that will directly or indirectly shape the policies of government at all levels,” Mr Abacha said.

Since the commencement of the Boko Haram insurgency and with the presentation of food and non-food items to the IDPs in the state, this is the first time the Displaced Persons are been provided with a transistor radio which the government believes would help to educate, enlighten and entertain them while in the camp.

Police Opens Investigation Into Alleged IDPs’ Abuse

Police ,Counter-terrorism ,RiversThe Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has set up a Special Investigation Team to immediately commence thorough enquiry into all cases of alleged sexual abuses.

Other issues include exploitation, harassment, gender based violence and professional misconduct on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in some of North-eastern states contained in a report published by the Human Right Watch against Camp officials, vigilante groups, Soldiers and Policemen among others.

The IGP has expressed deep concern over the submissions in the report and has directed the Special Investigation Panel to carry out a discreet and unbiased investigation into all the cases of abuse and misconduct alleged in the report.

In a statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, DCP Don Awunah said, the IGP has called on Human Right Watch officials to avail more facts that will assist the Police investigation team conclude the inquiry into the alleged 43 cases mentioned in the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.

“The IGP has also directed Commissioners of Police in locations where IDP Camps are situated to beef up security and ensure adequate safety of all IDPs and ensure that all perpetrators of any criminal act are decisively dealt with in accordance to the law”.

The statement further urged all police officers and other personnel deployed to the IDP camps to strictly adhere to the rules of engagement.

“The Nigeria Police Force assures all Nigerians and the International community that the Force will not condone any act that will violate the human dignity of the IDPs by individuals or group of persons at the camps or anywhere in the country”.

Human Rights Watch ReportIDPs, Bama, Humanitarians, Borno

In late July, 2016, Human Rights Watch documented sexual abuse, including rape and exploitation, of 43 women and girls living in seven internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The victims had been displaced from several Borno towns and villages, including Abadam, Bama, Baga, Damasak, Dikwa, Gamboru Ngala, Gwoza, Kukawa, and Walassa. In some cases, the victims had arrived in the under-served Maiduguri camps, where their movement is severely restricted after spending months in military screening camps.

“It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram,” said Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It is disgraceful and outrageous that people who should protect these women and girls are attacking and abusing them.”

Four of the victims told Human Rights Watch that they were drugged and raped, while 37 were coerced into sex through false marriage promises and material and financial assistance. Many of those coerced into sex said they were abandoned if they became pregnant.

They and their children have suffered discrimination, abuse, and stigmatization from other camp residents. Eight of the victims said they were previously abducted by Boko Haram fighters and forced into marriage before they escaped to Maiduguri.

A situational assessment of IDPs in the northeast in July 2016 by NOI Polls, a Nigerian research organization, reported that 66 percent of 400 displaced people in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states said that camp officials sexually abuse the displaced women and girls.

Buhari Orders Action On Human Rights Watch's (HRW) Reports On IDP AbuseBuhari Expresses Concern

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over the recently released Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which alleges sexual abuse and exploitation of women and girls in camps for those displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

He has therefore ordered an immediate investigation into the allegation.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Mr Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He said that the welfare of these most vulnerable of Nigerian citizens has been a priority of President Buhari’s government and Nigerians and the international community can rest assured that the allegations raised in the HRW are not being taken lightly.

“President Buhari has instructed the Inspector General of Police and the state governors of the affected states to immediately commence investigations into the issue.

“Their findings will determine the next course of action for the government and define an appropriate response.

“While the Nigerian military continues to work hard so that these unfortunate victims of Boko Haram terrorism can soon return safely to their homes, the government will do its best to ensure their protection and welfare in the temporary IDP camps,” the statement read.

IDPs Situation; A Blessing In Disguise To Nigeria – Sen Tejuosho

Sen_TejuoshoThe Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Lanre Tejuosho on Tuesday said the situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States is a blessing in disguise for Nigeria.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, he noted that  “before the IDP issue started, Nigeria was losing 1, 200 children daily due to malnutrition. That is about 36, 000 children dying every month.

“If you go to all the federal hospitals, the pediatric wards, you will see malnourished children all over. It is from there you get the statistics with United Nations and Federal Ministry of Health”, he said.

He further maintained that “what is happening in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe is just a blessing in disguise for us to actually do what is right for malnutrition in this country”, adding that malnutrition is responsible for 53 per cent of deaths of children under the age of five.

Despite this chilling statistics, he lamented the low income being budgeted for tackling malnutrition in the country, revealing that “a meagre N2.4 million” was allocated for nutrition purposes in the 2016 budget “that was not properly done” due to time.

Sen Tejuosho said malnutrition reduces the immunity of a child, which will make the child vulnerable to other diseases, adding that “a malnourished child will die earlier on a simple case of pneumonia”

He insisted that malnutrition is the “real thing to tackle to ensure that any human being is not vulnerable to such diseases”.

He proposed the composition of a Nutrition Department in the proposed 10, 000 Primary Health Centres, “to be introduced in the next two years”, as a way of curbing the menace.

The United Nations has warned that some 50,000 children could starve to death this year if nothing is done.

However, the Federal Government has expressed readiness to welcome a global partnership that would ensure a concerted and focused international response to the humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency in the northeast.

Over two million persons have been displaced in the northeast, a fallout of the over six years of insurgency by a terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“It is very important that you chose to come and offer some partnership. This is great and we are pleased…Partnership is certainly the way to go,” the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday, while receiving members of the ONE campaign led by the international rock star, Bono, and Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote.

He said no matter how prepared a country could be, handling the kind of crisis in the northeast with over two million displaced people including children, as a single country “would be irresponsible”.

“A global partnership to address the situation should be coordinated and more focussed on what is required to be done, for instance, in addressing the issue of malnourished children and not attempting to do too much things at once,” he told the gathering.

Earlier, the Irish born artist, Bono, said he had visited some of the IDPs.

“We want to be useful to you,” he said, explaining that what he saw in the region was “deeply disturbing”, he maintained.

TICAD: Buhari Says Government Will Rehabilitate IDPs

IDPs, President Buhari, TICADThe President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has promised that the Federal Government will ensure full rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and find lasting solutions to combat threats of terrorism in the nation’s northeast.

Speaking at the opening of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) holding in Nairobi, Kenya, President Buhari stated that since life had started returning to normal where the IDPs were displaced, it was important for his administration to re-unite them with their families.

He acknowledged Japan’s assistance through the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and other development partners for their support towards the rehabilitation of the victims of Boko Haram and improving the lives of IDPs.

The two-day summit with the theme “Advancing Africa’s sustainable Development Agenda-TICAD Partnership for Prosperity”, is being held outside of Japan for the first time since inception in 1993.

It is  co-organised by the Government of Japan, the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, the United Nations Development Programme, the African Union and the World Bank.

It focused on promoting structural economic transformation through diversification and industrialisation; promoting resilient health system for quality life and promoting social stability for shared prosperity.

President Buhari is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe in the course of the summit.

No fewer than 35 African leaders are are attending the high level summit also attended by leading private sector companies from Japan.

This will be the first time TICAD is being held in Africa since its inception in 1993.

Air Force Establishes New Hospital For IDPs In Bama

Sadique Abubakar, Bello Abubakar, Niger, Military
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar,

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has established a hospital in Bama, a town in Borno State, formerly occupied by Boko Haram insurgents, as part of its medical outreach.

Bama is home to 25, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), consisting mostly women and kids.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, gave the state governor, Mr Kashim Shettima, a tour of the hospital, equipped to meet the health needs of the residents.

The Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the coordinating agency for humanitarian services in the state, believe that collaboration between sister agencies and support from the Nigerian Air Force medical team is responsible for the seamless defeat of malnutrition in the camp.

“The government of Borno State in conjunction with NEMA and the 31 NGOS working together were able to work together. So many tents have been built, water supply has improved and we now have two health facilities and food system has improved to meet the needs of this IDP camp.”

The health facility, initiated by the Nigerian Air Force in Bama, is an extension of the Dalori IDP camp in Maiduguri, which has been conducting surgeries for sick IDPS, at no cost, where necessary.

Explaining the vision behind the Air Force Medical Outreach, Air Chief Abubakar, said he believes that gaining the confidence of locals in the area of operations is key to winning the counter insurgency war.

Bama and Gwoza local councils of Borno State have the highest number of IDPS living in camps and the host communities.

Governor Kashim Shettima has assured that the state government is engaging in fruitful partnerships with the Presidential Initiative for rebuilding North East (PINE) and others, to facilitate the quick return of IDPS and closure of camps.

The Nigerian Air Force is a beneficiary of a N20 million grant from PINE, in support of its medical outreach.

Malnutrition among IDPs in Borno State was first reported in the unofficial camp in Bama Local Council Area.

A large part of the population of the IDPs in the Bama camp are former captives of the insurgents, who regained their freedom following intensive military operations.

At least 3, 000 malnourished persons, mostly kids, had to be evacuated to Maiduguri, the capital city for treatment and proper nutrition.

Nine weeks on, the narrative of the IDPS has changed, as they speak of changes in their diets and improved medicare.

Gohna Alkali, an IDP in the Bama camp said “we are no longer hungry, we now have food. We have doctors here taking care of us, and food and clothes we do not have any problems. They give us spaghetti for breakfast, rice and beans for lunch and semovita for dinner we are grateful to God”, he said.

We’ll Restore Confidence In Internally Displaced Persons, Buhari Assures

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said his administration will restore confidence in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) by fast-tracking their voluntary return, rehabilitation and reintegration into the society.

Receiving the outgoing Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Asharaf Abdelkader Salama at State House, President Buhari commended Egypt for identifying with challenges confronting the country, especially the plight of IDPs, which has remained a topmost priority for the Nigerian Government.

“The displaced persons want to go back to their homes. They want to resume their normal lives. They want to go back to the land, which they have not cultivated for over three years now.

“We will work to restore their confidence, and also work on infrastructure, so that they can quickly resettle,” President Buhari said.

The President noted that the bond of friendship between Nigeria and Egypt was very strong as demonstrated in their growing cooperation on regional and international issues.

In his remarks, Mr. Salama, who spent four years in Nigeria, said he was the first foreign diplomat to travel by road from Maiduguri to Yobe State, North Eastern Nigeria, last month.

He told the President he was proud to have made the journey through an area once considered a stronghold of Boko Haram terrorists, following the successes recorded by the Nigerian military fighting insurgents in the region.

He described the people of Nigeria as “friendly and generous,” saying he hoped to be back in the country again.

President Buhari also received the outgoing Ambassadors of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Tanzania.

During the audience with Ambassador Oubi Bachir of SADR, President Buhari reiterated Nigeria’s support for Sahrawi people’s self-determination and independence.

Ambassador Bachir’s duty tour to Nigeria spanned eight years during which he served as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

On Tanzania, President Buhari told the High Commissioner Daniel Ole Njoolay, that the east African country was fortunate to have a leader who cared so much for the less privileged in the society.

The President said Tanzania was blessed with good land and gas, which could be used for the good people of the country.

Ambassador Njoolay spent two years and eight months in the country.

Buhari Urges Rich Nations To Save Lake Chad From Extinction

Corruption CasesPresident Muhammadu Buhari has urged rich countries to do something urgent to save the Lake Chad from extinction, arising from the effects of climate change.

Receiving the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, in Abuja on Thursday, President Buhari warned that the failure to regenerate the Lake Chad will lead to another round of migration by the people living in the areas.

The President, who led seven ministers to an interactive meeting with the UNESCO chief, said Nigeria and the other countries of the Lake Chad Basin lacked the billions of dollars required to channel water from the Congo Basin into the lake to check its rapid depletion.

“Those living in the Lake Chad region have suffered untold hardship and displacement because of the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists.

‘‘If there is no farming and fishing, they will dare the desert to migrate.

“Unless the developed countries make concerted efforts to complete the feasibility study, mobilize resources and technology to start the water transfer from the Congo Basin, the Lake Chad will dry up.

‘‘The people will go somewhere and they will create problems for those countries,” the President told the visiting UN official.

President Buhari commended UNESCO’s support to Nigeria, particularly on the ongoing rehabilitation work in the North East and reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

He said the pathetic situation of IDPs require immediate and urgent response from international organisations such as UNSECO to provide infrastructure, health and education for the people in the area.

The UNESCO Director-General, Mrs. Bokova, who commenced a week-long visit to West and Central Africa on August 6, said she was in Nigeria to strengthen the organisation’s programme in the areas of science and technology, gender and youth development, culture, water resources development, health and environment.

Boko Haram: Police To Provide Security In Liberated Towns

Police-Don-AwunahThe Acting Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, says the police is already establishing civil authority in communities liberated from the Boko Haram terrorists in affected states.

The police chief told journalists in Maiduguri that the move is to relieve the military and to also enable displaced persons return home in the shortest possible time.

The IG was speaking during the launch of a Police Medical Outreach for the internally displaced living at the Muna Garage Camp in Maiduguri.

He said the initiative is in tandem with the Nigerian Air Force and military medical outreach among the displaced.

The IGP has also assured citizens of adequate security to communities liberated from the Boko Haram terrorists to enable Displaced Persons return home soonest.

Idris said the visit was aimed at synergising with the military on the process of returning civil authorities to liberated communities.

He has assured officers and men of the police force that their welfare would be adequately catered for.

The IGP also distributed food items and other relief materials to support the IDPs even as plans to fortify their hometowns and establish civil rule intensifies.

IGP Idris was accompanied by the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller General of the Prison Service, Ahmed Ja’afar and Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu

Reps To Investigate Diversion Of IDPs Rehabilitation Fund

Sexual MisconductConsidering the large number of Internally Displaced Persons in the country, the House of Representatives has expressed concern over allegations that donor funds meant for the displaced persons are being diverted.

The resolution of the House was sequel to a motion on matters of urgent public importance sponsored by Rep. Ali Isa during plenary on Thursday.

“Both the Federal Government, local donor groups as well as wealthy individuals have committed funds for the same purposes.

“Worried that despite all the donations, a large number of these IDPs are living in hunger, very deplorable and unhygienic conditions without any rehabilitation in sight.

“There are series of allegations of diversion of the donated funds meant for the well-being and welfare of IDPs,” Isa said.

He noted that some civil society groups and non-governmental organizations claiming to be working for the interest of the IDPs are doing the contrary.

Another representative, Johnson Agbonayima, described the situation of IDPs as “disheartening and a disgrace to the nation,” adding that corruption must be stopped in the country so that the north east can be rebuilt.

The House mandated its Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness; Aids, Loans and Debt Management; IDPs and North East Development to jointly investigate the matter.

Scores of camps in different parts of the country accommodate the growing number of internally displaced persons, a large part of whom are from the north eastern part of the country.

The condition of the camps have attracted a lot of financial support from within and outside the country.