NEMA alerts on impostors’ invasion of IDPs camps
PUSHED by hunger or sheer mischief, some impostors have penetrated the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps to collect the materials meant for persons genuinely displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has alerted.
Speaking over the weekend, the NEMA Director-General, Mohammed Sani Sidi, said the situation poses a fresh challenge to the agency’s capacity to reach out to millions of refugees scattered in all camps in various parts of the country.
Nevertheless, Sidi, who spoke with the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Ben Angwe, when both agencies met in Abuja on the challenges of IDPs living in an uncompleted estate in Apo Mechanic Village, assured that NEMA was addressing the issue.
Over 500 IDPs had trooped to the NHRC Headquarters in Abuja seeking the commission’s protection from an imminent eviction by the management of Suncity Estate, Abuja, following which Angwe requested NEMA’s intervention.
Arising from the meeting, both agencies resolved to convene a stakeholders’ forum on Wednesday at the NHRC Headquarters to address some of the identified challenges.
A statement from the NHRC quoted Sidi to admit that the major challenge to his agency in respect of the displaced persons was identifying the real IDPs.
He disclosed that many people now troop to IDPs camps or settle in unoccupied areas as such with the intent to get relief materials or attract sympathies.
He regretted that the nation’s humanitarian outlook has been made more complex by frequent communal clashes, especially between pastoralists and farmers, which had displaced many citizens from their comfort homes.
However, he said that NEMA has established camps in all conflict areas, with adequate attention. Similarly, Angwe said the nation’s security situation led to the displacement of millions, who now seek refuge in uninhabitable environments, with serious threat to their mental and physical existence.
It was the need to address some of these issues that NHRC, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for refuges (UNHCR) deployed 310 monitors to the north east and north central to monitor the human rights situation in these camps.