Govt Has Abandoned Us, Cry Adamawa IDPs
SOME Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Adamawa State have accused government of abandoning them, since it gave directive that they should return to their homes three months ago.
Some of the displaced people in Bazza and Michika who spoke with The Guardian, last week, said government has left them without food and medicine.
“It is a pity that the Adamawa State government has chosen to threat us as if we are not from this state,” said chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government, Mr. Joel Bilil.
One middle-aged man, Dauda Yakubu, said for the past three months since he returned to Michika, he has been able to feed only once everyday, decrying failure of the state government to come to the aid of the people.
“But for Bishop Mamza, I do not think many of us would be alive by now. What we face here is as bad as Boko Haram. When someone deprives you of food he wants to kill you, which is also the aim of Boko Haram. For government to deny us food, it means they do not want us to live,” said Yakubu.
Yakubu’s mention of ‘Hamza’ was reference to the humanitarian gesture, not of some government official, but of the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Steven Dami Mamza. Mr. Joel Bilil confirmed to The Guardian that the Bishop has donated foodstuff and drugs worth millions of naira to the returnees in Bazza, Michika and Madagali councils, concluding: “God has not abandoned us.”
When the reporter contacted the Executive Secretary, Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Haruna Hamma, he admitted that since the IDPs returned to Bazza, Michika and Madagali, three months ago, government has not yet supported them with foodstuff. “It is true that we are yet to take foodstuff to them since they returned. But we are working out modalities we are going to use to distribute foodstuff to them,” said Hamma.
Youths of Bazza, meanwhile, have resorted to self-help in order to repair what they can of a bridge, which was blown up by insurgents when they swept through the area last year. “We from Bazza, Michika and Madagali are facing another trouble that bears similar pains as that meted out by the insurgents. When the rain comes, we will not be able to go out of these areas because there are no bridges.
And if Boko Haram strikes again, the military cannot come to our assistance because there are no bridges by which they can cross those big streams. We are in another trouble,” cried Mr. John Zira, a commercial driver.
The youths last week endured a four-kilometre distance to fetch stones from a mountain in order to salvage what they could of the damaged bridge.
One Mrs. Hannatu Solomon said if government does not make reconstruction of the bridges top priority, the three towns would be disconnected from the rest of the state and the lives of the residents would be in danger. She called on the government of Alhaji Umar Jibrilla Bindo to ensure the military constructs temporary bridges before the rains intensify.
Bishop Hamza, when he visited the area early June 2015, also urged Governor Bindo to reduce the hardship facing the IDPs, saying: “It will not cost the government too much money to provide funds for the military to construct temporary bridges to enable people from these areas move from one village to another and also access the state capital.
If the insurgents attack during the rainy season, how will the military come in to rescue the people without bridges? How will the people escape without bridges?”
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