Boko Haram: IDP Camp Discovered In Edo
The effect of Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives, has found its way into Edo State as an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp with over 900 victims has been discovered in Edo State.
Tucked into a forest near a community on Edo South Senatorial District, which identity has been solicited to be kept secret for security reasons, the camp is run by a faith base group; International Christian Centre for Missions.
A visit to the camp yesterday showed that some of the IDPs included children as young as four months and many others in their teens and 20s and a few adults. The managers said the facility was for the needy and have been providing food and shelter for the IDPs since 2013.
The camp covers a large expanse of land and has several blocks of rooms and halls, most of which were made of wood, serving as classrooms and bedrooms for the displaced persons.
The refugees included men, women and children whose families were killed and homes burnt by the insurgents. In the absence of electricity, the camp is sustained with generators, which also powers the water facility.
With the over 900 victims coming to join the existing 400 indigent persons in the camp, facilities have been overstretched especially food; not less than six bags of rice is needed for a meal and four bags of garri for a meal.
The Overseer of the camp, Solomon Folorunsho said the IDPs were brought to the facility from Bornu and Adamawa States, through Jos, the Plateau State capital.
He hinted that the Centre depends on donations from faith-based organisations, institutions and individuals. “This centre is a place for mission work and discipleship and also to care for children who are in need from different parts of Nigeria.
We have been in existence since 1992, catering children from different villages, who have been abused, oppressed and are orphans in the society.
“We had about 400 children before we saw the need of children in the North East, whose parents were killed. Some of them ran to the mountains where they ate sand, stones and leaves. And there were some who started dieing of malnutritious disease.
“Some of them ran to Cameroon and I started getting phone calls there that we from the South here should help to rescue these children, as they were just wandering in the streets. That was what prompted us to set up a committee of pastors who located the children and brought them together to verify their identity.”
He said the state government was recently informed of the situation three months ago through the Ministry of Women Affairs but was yet to get any response.
Meanwhile, some of the victims some of the victims who recounted their ordeal said that they lost all they had to the insurgents who also attacked them in caves where they had initially sought refuge.
Tani Philemon said that she was abducted by the insurgent from her home, in Gwoza Local Government Area of Bornu State, but escaped miraculously after several day of fasting. Another victim, Grace James, 17, said that she and her family fed raw maize while on the run, after they were attacked and their home destroyed by the insurgents.
“We kept running for our lives, feeding on fresh maize without cooking it. When we got to a big stream through which we were to cross into Bornu, we saw many dead bodies floating on the stream. But finally got to Bornu and later to Jos. It was in Jos that we heard about a camp in Benin,” she said.