Thursday, November 2, 2017

IDPs ‘ready to trek back to Bama’, say they’re dying of hunger in Maiduguri

IDPs ‘ready to trek back to Bama’, say they’re dying of hunger in Maiduguri
September 24
22:34 2017
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The internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, want to return to their respective communities in Bama even if it means “trekking back” home.

The IDPs staged a protest on Sunday demanding that they are allowed to go back to their communities as they have been “seriously neglected” in Maiduguri.

Muhammad Hassan, chairman of the Bama Initiative for Human Development, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which organised the protest, described the condition of the IDPs in Borno as pathetic.

He said most of them are traumatised and living in very poor condition, adding that the only way out seems to be returning to their abandoned homes.

“We are in Maiduguri for more than three years without meaningful means of livelihoods,” he said.

“The elongation in the process of returning displaced persons to their homes is moving at a snail pace and exposed them to unbearable conditions.

“We could no longer send our children to school; many have died of hunger and starvation. Most of us live in host communities and no one is supporting us.”

But Kashim Shettima, governor of the state, in his reaction, said though the state’s “greatest wish” is the safe return of the IDPs to their communities, it has to ensure that there is a full return of civil security in their communities before such would happen.

Isa Gusau, his spokesman, said in a statement: “It is to the government’s advantage if IDPs return home because their return will lessen economic burden of supporting them as displaced persons.

“The greatest wish of the governor is the safe and dignified return of all IDPs to their communities. Much as he wants the IDPs to return, he is also concerned about their safety

“The governor encourages safe and dignified return only after putting the right things in place.”

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