IDPs reveal intolerable suffering in camps across North East

    By Gbenga Ogundare

    Over 300 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the North East scattered across Kaduna State have cried out for urgent help saying that their plights and sufferings have become unbearable.

    They lamented that the state governments and other stakeholders have abandoned them to their fate and can no longer bear the situation.

    The IDPs spoke to newsmen in Kaduna when a Non Governmental Organization under the aegis of Tamar Love Foundation distributed free food stuffs, clothes, books, toiletries and other relief materials to them in Maraban Jos and Karji area of the state.

    Some of them who spoke with newsmen said that they have lost all their family members as well as their means of livelihood and therefore, beg for alms with their children before they can eat.

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    One of the displaced persons, Zarah Bukar, said: “We have children and responsibilities and we have no food to eat, money, clothes and assured shelter. Some of us have to go to the streets with our children and beg for alms before we are able to feed.

    “We lost a lot due to the activities of insurgency in Borno. Our children used to go to school but now they cannot attend school. This condition we now find ourselves is beyond us to tackle. Unfortunately, the government of Kaduna State has not come to our aid till date.”

    Also Hauwa Bukar from Gworza in Borno State, said she does not know where her husband was right now since their village was attacked and that she does not know if he is still alive or not since she had not heard from him since then.

    Hauwa, who spoke in tears, said she had four children who are always starving and her father whom she is staying with has become blind, cannot afford the money to go for check up, adding that she had to go out to beg for alms with her children before they can eat.

    Ahmadu Bello who recounted his ordeal said, “I am always wondering around the town to look for any menial job that I can do to help myself and my family. It is only sometimes that I get something to do.

    “I have my job back home but I have to run away for my life. Many of our women are very industrious but now have nothing to do. If only they can get small support from the government, group or individuals, they will pick up.

    “We as a people like to be on our own and hate to be burden on anyone. Sometimes, the life is just difficult. For someone to be staying indoors all day without food and money is a nasty experience.”

    An elderly man, Abubakar Yahaya, said he was even ashamed of going out to beg, but has no choice than to do so. He said he lacked words but all he can say was that once they can get something to eat they would not bother so much about any other thing now.

    Similarly, Friday Ujah from Adamawa State said since he was lucky to escape to Kaduna with his family, they have not heard anything from home and don’t know what has become of their people.

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    He added that he was not satisfied with the way government has treated them in Kaduna, pointing out that he had engaged in jobs like gardening, shoe making, handset repair and painting in order to feed himself and his family.

    He stressed that he would like to return to his village when the security improves, as that is his daily prayer.

    Meanwhile, President of the foundation, Tessy Tukson Dibal, said apart from the provision of food stuffs, books and other relief materials, the foundation has a long term plan for IDPs in Kaduna State which include building a skill acquisition center for them in order to make them self reliant and independent.

    She said the foundation had also decided to prioritize the IDPs education and called on the government, private bodies, religious organizations, Non Governmental Organizations and well meaning individuals to endeavour to come to the aid of the IDPs in any little way they can.