IDPs, star­va­tion and death

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

The re­lease of pho­to­graphs by Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders(MSF),an in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion show­ing mal­nour­ished per­sons in in­ter­nally dis­placed per­sons

IDPs Borno camps has elicited sym­pa­thy and con­dem­na­tion across the coun­try. It is es­ti­mated that over 24,000 IDPs are in dire health sit­u­a­tion with at least 30 peo­ple - mostly chil­dren - dy­ing ev­ery day. An­gered by the re­leased re­ports and hor­ri­ble im­ages, Mr Pres­i­dent sum­moned an emer­gency meet­ing with the of­fi­cials of NEMA and SEMA. The pur­pose of the meet­ing was to find out what went wrong. Even be­fore this shock­ing rev­e­la­tion, the IDPs camps in the coun­try have been on the spot­light for cor­rup­tion re­lated cases in­volved some gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. The EFCC chair­man, Ibrahim Magu, once said “We have been re­ceiv­ing pe­ti­tion on the cor­rup­tion in IDPs camps in­volv­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and the com­mis­sion will soon in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter”.

The in­ter­nally dis­placed per­sons have been hav­ing un­pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ences due to one prob­lem or the other. Although they are sup­posed to be given a bet­ter treat­ment look­ing at the cir­cum­stances that forced them out of their habi­tat, the de­hu­man­iz­ing con­di­tion they are be­ing sub­jected to calls for an ur­gent in­ter­ven­tion. These vic­tims of Boko Haram and other calami­ties are not fed well in the camps. Sadly,the food and other ma­te­ri­als send to them by either gov­ern­ment or donors are be­ing di­verted. No won­der there is re­ported cases of mal­nour­ish­ment and other ail­ments rav­aging the camps.

The out­go­ing U.S Am­bas­sador to Nige­ria, James Ern­whis­tle, dur­ing the 240th United States in­de­pen­dence an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion cock­tail party in Abuja, ex­pressed dis­plea­sure on the hu­man­i­tar­ian crises in the in­sur­gency rav­aged North East geo po­lit­i­cal zone. He ex­pressed re­gret on how the IDPs are dy­ing in the coun­try. With the mas­sive on­slaught against the deadly Boko Haram in­sur­gents by the Nige­rian armies, the IDPs have dim hope that they will soon go back to the their var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties. The on­go­ing clear­ance of Boko Haram rem­nants will pave the way for per­ma­nent re­set­tle­ment of the dis­placed peo­ple. But be­fore then the gov­ern­ment should in­ves­ti­gate the hu­man­i­tar­ian crises in the IDPs camps as re­ported by con­cerned in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions. Also, the men­ace of cor­rup­tion in the camps needs to be checked, and those in­volved pun­ished ac­cord­ingly.

The IDPs should not be sub­jected to dou­ble suf­fer­ing. They have lost their loved ones and com­mu­ni­ties in the hands of in­sur­gents and should not be al­lowed to die silently in the camps.

Ibrahim Mustapha, Pam­be­gua, Kaduna state 08169056963

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