IDP alleges neglect by government

Internally Displaced Persons at Dikwa Camp, in Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria. PHOTO: AFP

Some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, have decried their poor living conditions, poor treatment and neglect from the government.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday in Abuja, they noted that their living conditions have continued to worsen as relevant agencies no longer attend to their needs.

Mr Idris Halidu, Coordinator, Governmental and Public Affairs, Durumi IDPs settlement, told NAN that the over 10, 500 IDPs in the FCT do not benefit from the relief interventions of government.

In his reaction, Mr Ishaya Chonoko, FCT Zonal Coordinator, NEMA, said the agency had conducted its research and identified the real IDPs living within the FCT.

He told NAN that the agency delivers regular relief interventions to authentic camps.

The coordinator disclosed that most of the IDPs within the FCT metropolis have been infiltrated with “Political IDPs’’ who are actually not displaced but have come to feed on government out of laziness.

Chonoko explained that the real IDPs live in suburbs of the FCT and are also working hard alongside relief interventions to cater for their needs.

“This year, we conducted several relief interventions to IDPs settlements in Gurukwu, Jankawa, Kubwagu, Sunshine Estate, Apo district and Waru, where we have the real IDPs.

“Last year, we did countless relief distributions to the above settlements, Wasa, Kuje, Nyanya and even Durumi and Kuchingoro settlements and discovered they had been infiltrated with thugs and hoodlums.

“When you talk with the real IDPs, they are always full of appreciation but the political IDPs would always criticise our efforts,’’ Chonoko said.

The coordinator said that over 200 of the real IDPs have indicated interest to return back to their communities, while the fake ones are leveraging on the circumstance for their selfish interest.

According to Halidu, the living conditions of IDPs in Durumi, FCT, have continued to grow worse since they fled their communities for a safer haven in the FCT due to the insurgency.

“We are underfed, the environment in the communities are not worthy of human habitation, there are no medical arrangement for us when we fall sick and a lot more. 98 per cent of people visiting the camps make the same observations, yet nothing has been done.

“We do not know what agencies like the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) are doing.

“They do not spare time to check on us, to see how we are doing, let alone, providing some relief assistance, that is very sad.

“For a country like Nigeria that has contributed a lot in terms of humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping to other nations, this should not be happening to her citizens.

“We appreciate the International Organisations, NGOs, kind hearted individuals, the Nigerian Army and Air force, who have brought relief items and medical care to us,’’ Halidu said.

Also speaking to NAN, Mr Benjamin Yusuf, at the Kuchingoro IDPs settlement, said that though some government agencies gave them relief assistance, the interventions are less frequent and inadequate.

He said since January, they have only received one relief intervention, which was barely enough for them.

Yusuf called on the FCT Minister to look at their condition and alleviate their sufferings by building a decent camp for them, provide them with regular relief and medical items.

He also called on the Federal Government to provide employment opportunities and empowerment for the youth and women, adding that education should also be provided for children in the camp.

Also, IDPs at the Jankawa settlement in the FCT commended the government for their interventions in alleviating their plights, saying that government had given them sources of livelihood.

Mr Paul Musa, an IDP, said that they depended on government for relief intervention but now, in addition to that, they engaged in farming to cater for themselves.

He said that in 2016, they harvested over 20 bags of beans including other food produce.

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