Kidnapping, Banditry: Buhari Visits Batsari IDP In Katsina

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday visited Batsari Local Government Area to sympathise with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area.

Batsari is one of the eight front line Local Government Areas disturbed with the activities of banditry and kidnapping in Katsina state.

The President was received by Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari.

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The governor in his address said the recent deployment of additional security personnel and equipment to this area has led to a drastic reduction in the frequency of attacks.

He, however, admitted that there are still incidents of attacks, kidnap and cattle rustling in the area.

He added that the state government with the help of other security agencies has been able to scale down these atrocities owing to its dialogue and amnesty program.

2,043 IDPs Return Home From Bakassi Camp In Borno

Borno IDPs

 

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) taking refuge in the Bakassi IDP Camp in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have started returning to their original homeland in Guzamala Local Government Area of the state.

The IDPs numbering about 2,043, commenced the relocation on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

The Theatre Commander of the Nigerian Army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas, said this on Tuesday, during the flag off of the movement.

Source: Nigerian Army

According to him, their rehabilitation was jointly worked out by the Theatre Command, the Borno State Government and the Guzamala Local Authorities.

General Nicholas also stated that the military has reinforced security in their homeland and therefore, assured the returning IDPs of adequate protection while they resettle.

Source: Nigerian Army

The Theatre Commander also urged well-meaning Nigerians and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to support the IDPs with farming equipment and other relief materials to enable them to settle back quickly into their respective communities.

Borno Govt To Close Camps, Constructs Homes For IDPs

Ariel View of an IDP Camp in Borno State.

 

Borno State government has proposed the official shutdown of all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state, by May this year.

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State speaking on Thursday promised that the displaced persons who are willing to return to their homes would be guaranteed safety and support by the state government and humanitarian partners.

The building project which is reported to be handled by indigenous engineers includes mega schools being built for the displaced, orphaned children. The construction spread across the Local Governments with some completed and others in various stages of completion.

Women and children at an IDP camp in Borno State.

 

“We have to make provisions for education of these orphans. Now it is not possible for us to build those mega schools in the villages because security is still a little bit tenuous.

“But most importantly, in all the local government headquarters, we will build the mega schools. So that children orphaned by the crisis in those communities can be kept in school for proper education,” Shettima said.

Most of the IDPs are children who have become orphans after watching gruesome killings of their parents by Boko Haram insurgents.

The announcement on closure of IDP camps in Borno State was made before a Thursday night attack on an IDP camp. The attack occurred when Boko Haram terrorists struck at the IDP camp in Rann, Borno State, killing at least three aid workers. Many of the IDPs were injured in the attack.

UNICEF Says About 50,000 IDP Kids Are Malnourished

UNICEF Says About 50, 000 IDP Kids Are MalnourishedThe United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) estimates that nearly 50,000 children are severely malnourished as a result of the food insecurity.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Omar Abdi, stated this in Maiduguri after a tour of camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) both within and outside the Borno State capital.

Mr Abdi led a team of UNICEF officials from the offices in New York, Dakar and Abuja to undertake an on-the-spot needs assessment among the affected population.

“We have scaled up our programmes in working with other partners and supporting government efforts. So far the nutrition community has reached 12,000 children that are severely malnourished per month.

“We need to quadruple that number in order to reach all of the children that are severely malnourished. If they are not treated quickly, they are at risk of dying both from malnutrition and from other diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria and so on,” he said

The UNICEF team is also concerned about the education and access to clean water for thousands of children affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

According to the UNICEF Regional Director, Marie Pierre Poirier, access to clean water was another area of concern.

“The Thing that we have seen over the last days that is really strong is how the response in Nigeria to deal with this food insecurity tries to capitalise and attack the problem from different angle.

“So good distribution is very important but that’s not sufficient to get the kids out of that situation. In every IDP camp, we saw that there was a desire from our Nigerian counterparts with the help of UNICEF and partners to really bring in that aspect of water because if you don’t have safe water, you don’t have hygiene and you will create conditions where children cannot maintain the food in their body”, she explained.

UNICEF said even though resources are scarce and the time is short, there is a need to take advantage of any opportunity to tackle the problem.

The agency expressed readiness to increase its support and fill the gaps they have observed in their tours.

FG Announces Plans To Resettle Bakassi IDPs

FG Announces Plans To Resettle Bakassi IDPS
Commissioner, Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Hajia Sadiya Farauk

The Federal Government has announced plans to resettle Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Bakassi.

This announcement was made by the Commissioner, Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Hajia Sadiya Farauk, at the Cross River state Government House in Calabar, the state capital.

She said the Federal Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and ECOWAS on statelessness of the IDPS.

“The people of Bakassi have proved their link with Nigeria, they would not be allowed to become stateless.”

On his part, the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, commended the initiative but appealed for a quick process so that the people can reunite with their loved ones.

ECOWAS, ICRC Present Report On International Humanitarian Law

ECOWAS Member States Meet Over Implementation Of IHLEleven out of 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are at different levels of domestication and implementation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

The implementation of the law is aimed at reducing the effects of armed conflicts on persons not directly involved in such conflicts.

The resolve was made at a meeting on Friday in Abuja, where ECOWAS member states examined a report by the ECOWAS Commission and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), on the implementation of the International Humanitarian Law in West Africa.

The head of the delegation of the ICRC, Mr Eloi Fillion, said efforts were ongoing to help national authorities domesticate the International Humanitarian Law treaties.

Statistics reveal that armed conflicts across the West African sub region have left millions of persons in need of humanitarian aid.

Also, according to the ICRC, at least nine million people are in need of different humanitarian assistance in the Lake Chad Basin alone.

The ICRC and ECOWAS also noted that they have been working for over 15 years to see to the ratification, domestication and implementation of the International Humanitarian Law in the sub region.

The International Humanitarian Law is made up of a body of laws, including the Arms Trade Treaty and the African Union Convention on the protection of Internally Displaced Persons among others.

The ECOWAS Commission has stated its preparedness to adopt a new plan of action that will ensure full implementation and domestication of the International Humanitarian Law in the sub region.

NBA Offers Free Services To 1000 IDPs In Borno

NBA Offers Free Service To 1000 IDPs In BornoThe Borno State chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said it has offered free legal services and counselling to 1,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The State NBA Chairman, Babakura Kaka, stated this on Wednesday at the 2017 Legal Year celebration, during a court session at the Borno State High Court in Maiduguri.

Mr Kaka said that so far the NBA has treated and won 300 cases bordering on IDPs free of charge in courts.

He explained that the project, Legal Protection for IDPs, was designed to provide justice for all and ensure the people get the required justice.

“We are partnering with UNHCR to carry out humanitarian assistance to the IDPs by providing free legal services,” said the chairman.

Collective Duty

In his address, the Chief Judge of Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah, urged members of the NBA to reflect on sad events that happened in the state and learn from the lessons.

“An exclusive society that pushes the weak to the extreme margins is always susceptible to hateful demagoguery.

“It is time for rolling up our sleeves, not rolling out drums. It is not over until it is over.

“It cannot be over until the several widowed wives regain their charming smiles.

“It wont be over for anyone until it is over for the thousands of orphaned children.

“Not until they all come to view the society without bitterness, if not with gratitude. It is our collective duty to ensure that.

Oneness Of Humanity

“We must particularly appreciate and extend our gratitude to the international community, state and non-state actors for their assistance in reaching this tipping point and continuing empathy and assistance in our rehabilitation and reconstruction.

“They have rekindled our confidence in oneness of humanity.

“We should be careful not to allow the activities of very few opportunists lead us to expressions that may earn us the tag ‘ingrates’.

“In addition, for us in the legal community, our task is cut out. We must redouble our efforts and ensure that justice is done to all,” Zannah said.

Boko Haram Terrorists Attack Air Force Helicopter In Gwoza

Boko Haram Terrorists Attack Nigerian Air Force Helicopter In GwozaThe Nigerian Air Force says its helicopter conveying personnel on medical outreach programme at Gwoza on Wednesday came under attack by members of the Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) group.

A statement issued by the Force’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, said the Mi-17 helicopter was shot at severally by the insurgents.

However, there was no casualty recorded except for an airman who sustained bullet wound.

The statement revealed that the helicopter had departed from Maiduguri en-route the venue of the 2-day medical outreach programme in Gwoza when it came under attack by the insurgents.

Nevertheless, the pilot was able to fly the helicopter safely to and from its destination, in order to enable the outreach programme continue uninterrupted.

“Following the attack, the NAF immediately scrambled a fighter aircraft and helicopter gunship to the location between Bama and Gwoza to neutralise the threat.

“Intelligent report by ground troops confirmed scores of BHTs were killed, signifying that the air attack on the threat location was successful.

“Recall that the NAF has been conducting medical outreach in the northeast as part of its humanitarian support to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

“The latest of this effort was in Gwoza. This follows a similar effort undertaken recently for IDPs in Lagos area,” the statement read.

Rebuilding Borno: 192 Families To Get New Homes In Kaga

Kaga, IDPs, BornoSuccour has come the way of returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Kaga Local Government of Borno State, as about 192 families will soon take ownership of the newly reconstructed houses in the area.

The reconstruction project in Kaga is a pilot of the rebuilding project in affected communities within Borno, and the state government has set March 6 as the official date for allocation.

The development is part of the process of rebuilding Nigeria’s Northeast, after some states including Borno suffered unquantifiable loss as the ruthless Boko Haram unleashed terror on the states.

To achieve the humanitarian gesture, the Borno State Government got a seamless collaboration of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japanese Government.

Kaga is the first beneficiary community owing to the return of calm and the absence of security threat to the civilian population in the area.

The project covers the reconstruction of municipal buildings, schools and most importantly homes of the affected population.

Officials say the rebuilding has paved way for villagers to have even better homes than they had before the crisis.

According to the Chairman of Kaga Local Government, Lawan Wasaram, the beneficiaries are elated by the project, as they haven’t had such luxury in a long time.

“They are happy; a villager who has not slept under a concrete building before and now he has sheets and concrete building, of course they are happy.

“Even when the rains come they are no longer worried. Their lives have changed from living in a village to a city,” Mr Wasaram said.

The Regional Coordinator of UNDP, Joerg Kuehnel, also expressed happiness that the international organisation, being one of the development partners of the Rebuilding Borno Project, has been looking forward to the success of the project.

“We are here today (Monday) to supervise one of the programmes we have been implementing with the government of Borno State.

“We have been supporting and working with them for months, to help with the reconstruction efforts and for us, it’s very important that we work through the communities so that it’s really the people that do it themselves.

“Today what’s important for us is to see how the project progresses and I have to say that I am very impressed with what I saw,” the UNDP official said.

The project has not helped only the homeless population, as a large percentage of the building workforce comprises of the IDPs.

One of the IDPs, Bukar Isa, became displaced when his hometown, Bama, was invaded by the Boko Haram militants.

Along with others displaced from other parts of the state, he has decided to make a living from the rebuilding programme.

“My daily pay as a mason is 3,000 naira (while) others get 1,500 naira and above.

“Since I came to Maiduguri, I have never lived in a camp. I rented a house in town and put my family there.

“I pray other idle youths out there would be encouraged to work and fend for themselves,” he said.

A representative of the Borno State government, Mr Babagana Umara, who is in charge of the reconstruction project, said the big plan is to empower the returnees.

Mr Umara believes the project would hopefully reduce the burden of housing and feeding the IDPs after the home allocation ceremonies.

IDPs Seek Welfare Assistance From Taraba, Nasarawa State Govts

IDPs, Bama, Humanitarians, BornoInternally Displaced Persons (IDPs), from Wukari Local government area of Taraba state who are taking refuge in Nasarawa state, are seeking assistance from the government of both states and well meaning individuals to cater for their welfare.

They made their needs known when Channels Television visited the camp where they are residing.

The IDP’s who have been in Nasarawa state since June, 2014, said they depend on menial jobs around their vicinity for survival.

They also lamented over the fact that their children have been forced to leave school and that many of their relatives have starved to death.

“We are facing food and health challenges and our children do not go to school. We are appealing to the government and individuals to intervene immediately.

“They should help us with food and other things because what we are facing is not good. We will not stop appealing to them until something is done”

The people who are over 200 in number are currently taking solace at the ‘Almajiri’ school built by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2012, which has never been put to use since completion.

Just recently, the Nasarawa state government had asked the IDP’s to vacate the school and return to their state, but they have remained, as a result of not having where to return to.

Speaking on their behalf, one of the IDPs therefore appealed to the governor to allow them start their lives afresh if no other place would be provided for them.

“In terms of the vacation from here, if we would be leaving this place as the governor says, he should please create another environment for us and if there is an arrangement as such we would be happy; but if there is nothing, the governor should please leave us here because we don’t have anywhere to go even in our home in Wukari where we left before coming here, we have no home we have nothing there so it is here that will calm us down that we will be able to start our lives afresh” he said.

Resettlement Of IDPs: Over 1,300 Displaced Persons Expected In Borno

Resettlement Of IDPs: Over 1,300 Displaced Persons Return To BornoA fresh challenge of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), is facing the government and people of Borno state, as about 1,300 of them are expected to return to Maiduguri.

The displaced persons would be travelling through Yola and would be in Maiduguri by Monday.

They had been in Abuja since being displaced by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

This addition of 1,300 people mostly of women and children will now pose an additional challenge of providing food and other relief materials to them.

Over two million IDPs have been displaced from the northeast by the Boko Haram terrorists since 2009.

HRW Asks Nigeria To Compensate Victims Of Military Bombing

Photo Credit: Reuters
Photo Credit: Reuters

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked the Nigerian Government to “compensate victims of the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camp in the northeast” who were mistakenly bombed by a military jet.

The attack took place on Tuesday near the border with Cameroon, where the military engaged in what it called its ‘final push against Boko Haram’.

A senior researcher at the HRW in Nigeria, Mausi Segun, said that “prompt, adequate and effective compensation” was needed, even though there was no evidence of a willful attack on the camp.

She added that the “Victims should not be denied redress merely because the government decided the bombing was accidental”.

The military had insisted that the incident did not occur in an IDPs’ camp as reported in some quarters, but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.

The spokesman for the military, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, admitted that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

He explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists before the unfortunate occurrence took place.

The military has continued clearance operations in the northeast after it sacked Boko Haram members from their Sambisa forest haven.

It had asked residents of the region to be more vigilant, as fleeing Boko Haram members could infiltrate their communities.