IDPs: PRNigeria urges Nigerian govt, Red Cross, others to intervene in Niger, Kebbi
PRNigeria, an Image Merchant Promotion outfit, has called on Nigerian government, Red Cross Society and other humanitarian agencies to assist IDPs in Kagara and Chonoko communities in Niger and Kebbi states.
Mukhtar Madobi, an investigation staff member of the organisation, made the call during a roundtable Media Interface and Presentation of a report on Humanitarian Situations in Kebbi and Niger states on Friday in Abuja.
He said the over 10,000 IDPs in Chonoko community in Kebbi were living under hardship as they had no basic necessities of life.
Madobi said most of the schools in the community were closed down due to the fear of attacks by bandits, adding that some of the schools in town had been turned into IDP camps.
“This has sent a lot of students out of classes, leading to increased number of out-of-school children in the area.
”Chonoko community is suffering from lack of water; investigations show that residents and IDPs usually battle for water from the two available boreholes. People spend nights to queue for water.
“IDPs are living in a crowded shelter, for example, 20 people are sharing a single room. NEMA is trying its best, but the items don’t get to the vulnerable communities and people.
“Government and security forces should sustain effort towards restoring peace and security to affected communities.”
He called on NEMA, Red Cross, International Donors and NGOs to provide adequate shelters to the IDPs.
“Also, education should be rescued and medical supplies be considered to ensure sound healthcare delivery,” Madobi said.
On Kagara community in Niger, Madobi said residents were assisting victims of bandit attacks with foods and materials, adding that most IDPs were engaged in businesses to sustain their lives.
According to him, security has improved in Kagara, but that bandits are still attacking the surrounding villages.
He said the Vigilantes were not well equipped with good weapons which reduced their efforts in confronting the bandits.
“We also discovered that farmers were paying levies to bandits to have access to their farms and conduct farming activities, thus, farming has been affected, leading to food crisis.
“Most schools in Kagara are closed and the only General Hospital is providing skeletal services because medical personnel usually refuse posting to the community, because of fear of bandit attacks.
He appealed to Federal Government to boost security in villages by providing sophisticated weapons to vigilantes.
He also said that security personnel should be posted to critical infrastructure like schools and hospitals to encourage teachers and health personnel posted to the community.
Speaking, the Head, Press Unit of NEMA, Mr Manzo Ekekiel, said the Agency was committed to the sustainable provision of relief materials to IDPs, especially those affected by insecurity and other disasters across the country.
Ezekiel said the Agency had put in place necessary measures to ensure seamless and hitch-free distribution of relief materials to the communities affected by insecurity challenges and other disasters such as flooding across the country
He underscored the need for synergy between the Agency, Security Agencies, State Governments and Community Leaders to have unfettered access to the IDPs camps.
“The Kagara that we were discussing here and Chonoko, their locations are within the same general areas, so the DG has a cause to go to Kotongora to go and flag off the relief distribution there.
“Kagara is under our Minna Office, and I am aware that a lot of relief materials approved by the Agency have been delivered to the IDPs there.
“Also, Chonoko is under our office in Sokoto and I am also aware that our Coordinator there has delivered the relief materials approved at that location too.
“I want to say, in fact, there must be strategic reasons why PRNigeria picked on these two communities.
“But I must say here that not only these two communities are affected by insurgency and displacement of persons.
Recently, we were in Plateau to deliver materials to people affected by gunmen in Kanam local government area,” Ezekiel said.