An eyewitness said the fire, which raged for almost an hour, was fueled by the dry wind of the harmattan season.
One of the IDPs, Modu Zarami, said the actual cause of the fire and the number of people affected could not be ascertained, “but the damage is too much”.
“Nobody can say how the fire started, we only saw flames going up, and before anyone could do anything, it had destroyed a large section of the camp.
“The fire had destroyed my three bedroom thatch house, two sacks of maize, one bag of millet and a grinding machine. It’s all that the life of my family depends on. I have two wives and five children,” he said.
Another 70-year-old victim, Modu Maina, an indigene of Bale in Mafa LGA said he lost property worth over 100,000 to the fire.
The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi on Sunday, visited internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Abagana camp in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, to celebrate the 2022 Christmas Day with them and show solidarity with their five years of prolonged displacement by suspected herdsmen.
Addressing the IDPs, Obi encouraged them to be patient and look to God for intervention, noting that he shared in their pains and losses, hence his decision to join them on a day like Christmas when many families share love. (Watch Video Here)
He also challenged the Federal Government to resettle the IDPs so that they will move on with their lives.
Earlier, Governor Samuel Ortom, who received Obi at the Government House, said many presidential candidates have visited Benue but had no empathy to visit the over eight IDP camps to share in their pain.
Ortom said a man like Obi, if trusted with the mandate of Nigerians in 2023, will change the fortunes of the nation. (Watch Video Here)
After the address, Obi headed to the Abagana IDP camp to celebrate Christmas with IDPs who have been living there since 2018.
Some of the IDPs shared their joy and asked for their immediate resettlement.
Addressing the IDPs, Obi appealed to the Federal Government to resettle the IDPs and said the next government will not tolerate her citizens living in IDP camps. (Watch Video Here)
The Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, says he will spend his Christmas at the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Idah and Ibaji, Kogi State. (Watch Video Here)
This was contained in a statement signed by Ahmed Mohammed, the Kogi State chairman of the party, and made available to journalists in Lokoja by the state publicity secretary, Idakwo Emmanuel, on Friday. (Watch Video Here)
The LP chairman disclosed that Obi will join other Catholic faithful from Kogi State for the celebration.
“In the spirit of the joyful season, His Excellency, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Gregory Obi, will be celebrating Christmas day, December 25 with less privileged living in the IDP camps around Idah and Ibaji areas,” the statement partly read. (Watch Video Here)
He further encouraged all patriots to stay motivated as the party works together to achieve a new Nigeria that everyone would be proud of
The Federal Government has said that the flood that submerged parts of Nigeria has doubled the number of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, nationwide.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq disclosed this on Friday at an event commemorating National IDPs Day in Abuja.
Sadiya said the recent flood was a “sad global phenomenon as a result of climate change, which has also doubled the number of displaced persons nationwide and globally.”
DAILY POST gathered that 3.2 million internally displaced persons were in Nigeria according to the October statistics from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR.
Due to the severity of this year’s flood, especially in states like Anambra, Bayelsa, Kogi and Jigawa, over 5,000 Nigerians have been sent packing from their homes according to the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons, Hajiya Imaan Suleiman, who also noted that the unfortunate situation has pushed more Nigerians into extreme poverty
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Aformer information commissioner, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, has appealed to Governor Douye Diri to approach the Bayelsa House of Assembly to increase the flood relief funds allocated to communities affected by the disaster in the Ogbia local government area.
The governor had approved N450 million for relief to about one million displaced people across the eight local government areas.
“No one is in doubt about the kind of crisis we have now as a result of the flood. This is the time the governor needs to approach the state house of assembly and ask for their permission to raise and spend more money on the victims,” the ex-commissioner explained.
Mr Iworiso-Markson, in a statement, said the fund was grossly inadequate to cater for the feeding, medical support and general welfare of flood victims, particularly those around the Ayama axis and Otuokpoti community.
”By the sharing formula, most households could not sustain themselves with the funds beyond a day or two, insisting that more money should be made available to the victims,” he said.
Mr Iworiso-Markson, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate for the 2023 Ogbia federal constituency election, said it would be justifiable if the governor approached the state parliament to request special funds.
He added, “This has become inevitable because the affected communities need more money, and I urge the governor to step up the flood relief funds because the one released recently is grossly inadequate. It is barely enough to sustain a family for more than two days, and our people are suffering. They are devastated!”
The ex-commissioner expressed worry over looming water-borne diseases arising from the flood.
Acknowledging the Bayelsa government’s efforts, he urged the federal government to consider Bayelsa as a special case.
The Bayelsa government declared that no fewer than 300 communities and villages had been totally or partially submerged by flooding in the state.
It also announced that about 700,000 people were either displaced or affected by the flood.
MOVED by the sufferings of the people, the 2023 PDP Governorship Candidate in Delta State, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, has donated bags of Rice, Tubers of Yam, bags of Garri, Noodles, packs of bottled water, Tissues, bags of salt, beans and other relief materials to victims of the ravaging flood in the State.
Oborevwori who is also Speaker of the State House of Assembly, made the donations when he visited the victims at designated Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
He was at the ICS Camp, Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area housing 1,016 IDPs and Alaka Grammar School, Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government Area with 1,180.
Chatting with newsmen moments after the donations, Oborevwori said; “I have visited the ICS and Alaka camps and I am here at the Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro to ascertain the level of damage done by the flood.
“We understand that the University has been closed for two weeks. We pray that the flood will recede soonest. There is nothing man can do because it’s a natural disaster. I will advise those who refused to come to the IDP camps to relocate to higher grounds.This is a natural disaster so they have no choice than to relocate to higher ground. This also happened in 2012.
“What we have to do as stakeholders and leaders is to appeal to them and let them know that they need to leave areas that are affected by the flood. Nobody knows when the flood will begin to recede. You may just be sleeping and you find out that everywhere has been flooded.
“So it is our appeal that they should relocate because this is a natural disaster. The IDP camps are good places for them to relocate to because they will be well taken care of there by the government. I want to advise the IDPs to be orderly and manage themselves very well”.
Delta State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA Camp Comandant, Mrs Elizabeth Chukurah who received the relief materials, thanked the Speaker for the kind gesture and disclosed that the Camp has 1,016 IDPs.
Also, at Alaka Grammar School, Comandant of the Camp, Mr Vincent Ohwofadjeke, who spoke in the same vein, commended the Speaker for bringing succour to the IDPs with the assorted relief materials.
Also, Team Sheriff /Onyeme has distributed relief materials to IDPs in Oneh Primary School Asaba, Ogbe-Afor Primary School Asaba, Ewulu Primary School in Aniocha South Local Government Area and Utagba-Ogbe Technical College, kwale in Ndokwa West.
Speaking during the visit, Sir. Monday Onyeme who led the delegation on behalf of Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, said the gesture was to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
He lamented that; “all the eight LGA’s in Delta South, six LGAs in Delta North, and five LGAs in Delta Central Senatorial Districts have been taken over by flood”.
He urged the displaced persons to remain calm, adding that “in a very short time by God’s grace the situation will be over and everyone will return to their various homes”.
As floods continue to ravage most parts of the country, residents of Aeroplane Road in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta have raised the alarm over floating corpses from submerged cemeteries in their areas.
This came as several communities in Bomadi, Patani and Burutu local government areas of Delta State were yesterday sacked by the ravaging flood, with indigenes sleeping on top of Bomadi Bridge.
Vanguard reported yesterday that this year’s flood is perhaps the worst in Nigeria’s history, with over 603 dead, two million displaced and hundreds of hectares of farmlands destroyed.
Corpses litter Bayelsa, Delta communities
Raising alarm yesterday over the health implication of floating corpses in their community, residents of Yenagoa in Bayelsa called on the state government for immediate action to avoid a public health crisis.
Confirming the incident, a resident, Mr Emmanuel Oden, lamented that the floating corpses had become a recurring development during floods, adding that relocation of the cemetery is long overdue.
Oden further alleged that corpses at the cemetery were often buried in shallow graves of about 3 feet, rather than the recommended six feet prescribed by law.
Another resident Mr Ebi Owoupele, pleaded with the Bayelsa State Government to understand the plight of the people and assure them that the cemetery will be relocated.
Vanguard’s findings also revealed that the morgue at Bomadi General Hospital and Olodiama had been submerged, also with floating corpses as a result.
Contacted, the state commissioner for environment and chairman of Bayelsa Flood Committee, Mr. Iselema Gbaranbiri, who confirmed that three floating corpses were recovered and reburied with the environment properly fumigated.
His words, “the floating of corpses were actually reported. First, as commissioner for the environment, I got the report of a floating corpse and directed my head of health and sanitation to get the corpse reburied. Later two more corpses were recovered and reburied and the environment was properly fumigated.”
Bomadi, Burutu, Patani LGAs sacked
More disaster was recorded in parts of Delta State yesterday as many villages in riverine Bomadi, Patani and Burutu local government areas of the state were sacked by floods, with indigenes sleeping on Bomadi Bridge.
They appealed to the state government and political leaders to come to their aid.
Lamenting the situation in his community, the chairman, Bomadi federated community, Mr Seleyeibo Perekeme, said neither government nor political leaders from the area had responded to their call for help.
He said: “The entire Bomadi Local Government area is submerged, with only the council secretariat still standing because of community efforts.
“We’ve been able to dislodge the flood by blocking entry points with sand-filled sacks at the community waterfront through our earlier efforts. Now, the flood level has risen and we’ve been making similar efforts but we’ve run out of resources as a community.
“So, we’ve been calling on our political leaders to help since Bomadi is the last community standing and victims are fleeing in from neighbouring communities, such as Kpakiama, Oboro, Esanma, Tuomo, Tubegbe, Koloware, Ogboin-ama and many others in both Burutu and Patani council areas. Many victims are fleeing from Yenagoa to Bomadi.
We need N2m to save Bomadi town from submerging—Community chair
“If we can get N2 million, we can buy sand and sacks and be able to block entry points along the length of the community shoreline because the youths are ready to work to save Bomadi.
“But, until this moment, there’s no response from either the state government or our political leaders at a time of pains and distress as this. We are not happy because we seem to have been forgotten or abandoned,” he said.
An activist and youth leader, Comrade Kenneth Mezeh, however, lauded the efforts of the community leader and appealed to both state government and political representatives to respond to the plight of victims in Bomadi local government area and environs.
However, the chairman, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Bomadi local government chapter, Apostle Liberty Usiayo, in his reaction, said: “We have been going round the council area to see the level of flood devastation on the people and property, and the situation is really pathetic.
“No community is safe in the council area as all eleven communities have been ravaged, with women and children seriously affected. They need immediate food and medical attention.
“It’s also appalling that until this moment, there’s no government response to the plight of victims in the council area and we, as a body, urge the state government, appropriate agencies and politicians from the area to respond to the plight of victims without further delay.
Ibori seeks support for victims
Reacting to the devastating effect of the flood in the state, former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori, yesterday urged government agencies at the federal, state and local government levels to provide relief materials to flood victims across the country.
While condoling with flood victims, Ibori, in a tweet on his official Twitter handle, said: “Government agencies at all levels must act promptly to provide relief to those affected by floods in our country.
“The loss of lives and property caused by massive floods ravaging several states across the country as a result of the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon must be dealt with decisively to ensure this never happens again.”
Oborevwori, donates relief materials
Moved by the sufferings of the people, PDP governorship candidate in Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, yesterday, donated bags of rice, yams, bags of garri, noodles, packs of bottled water, tissues, bags of salt, beans and other relief materials to victims of the ravaging flood in the state.
Oborevwori, who is also speaker of the state House of Assembly, made the donations when he visited the victims at designated Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
He was at the ICS Camp, Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area housing 1,016 IDPs and Alaka Grammar School, Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government Area with 1,180.
Chatting with newsmen moments after the donations, Oborevwori said: “I have visited the ICS and Alaka camps and I am here at the Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro to ascertain the level of damage done by the flood.
“We understand that the university has been closed for two weeks. We pray that the floods will recede soonest. There is nothing man can do because it’s a natural disaster.
‘’I will advise those who refused to come to the IDP camps to relocate to higher grounds. This is a natural disaster, so they have no choice than to relocate to higher ground. This also happened in 2012.”
The All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for the Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency in Bayelsa State, Michael Olomu, also donated items worth millions of naira to flood victims in the Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement, his media office explained that Olomu was touched by the pains of the vulnerable people, personally visited the area at weekend and donated relief materials to reduce the agony caused by the flood.
Olomu also visited sick people in various hospitals in Sagbama, Bulou-Orua and the Adagbabiri communities, all in the Sagbama Local Government Area. Some of the items donated included foodstuffs such as garri, rice, noodles, salt and seasonings.
Bayelsa senators, Reps call for emergency
Also reacting to the situation, National Assembly members from Bayelsa State, comprising senators and members of the House of Representatives, yesterday raised alarm that the state had been completely severed from the rest of the country.
The lawmakers at a briefing in Abuja yesterday, said floods had sacked many people from their homes and communities, prompting untold hardship.
Speaking on behalf of the lawmakers who included Senators Henry Seriake Dickson, Biobarakumo Degi-Eremienyo, Moses Z. Cleopas, Preye Influence Goodluck Oseke, Frederick Azibapu Obua, Israel Sunny-Goli and Steve Azaiki, Frederick Yeitiemone Agbedi appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to declare Bayelsa a disaster emergency.
Agbedi said: “Considering that Bayelsa State is not just the worse affected, but one that has been completely severed from the rest of the country as a result of the complete erosion across several sections of the East-West Road, it is our additional call, therefore, on Mr. President to declare a state of disaster emergency in Bayelsa State.
“Similarly, we call on ministries, departments and agencies, such as the National Emergency Management Agency; National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons; and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, And Social Development for their considered, immediate intervention with medicines, foodstuffs and other relief materials.”
4,745 IDPs decline relocation from Delta communities
About 4,745 displaced persons across 73 communities in Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday declined relocation from their flood-ravaged communities over the desire to secure their properties and prematurely harvested farm produce.
This came as the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, assisted IDP Camp at Ashaka fully took off, with the camp registration hitting over 800 IDPs.
Chairman of the local government area, Mr Juan Governor, who disclosed this, noted that from reports gathered during a zoom meeting of the NELGA 2022 Flood Management Committee, the flood had started receding in the NELGA communities, along the upper part of the River Niger and Ase Creek.
He said: “Other IDPs still in all other NELGA flood-ridden communities are dwelling in clusters at the few-storey buildings in the various communities.
“So far, the number of IDPs in these flooded communities who declined relocation is reportedly estimated to be 4,745 persons across 73 major communities visited by the NELGA 2022 Flood Management Committee.
“We have some of our people at Ozoro and Oleh IDP camps but at present, we have not been able to ascertain the exact numbers of NELGA IDPs in these two camps due to the clustered registration which will require time to filter and establish the exact numbers of NELGA IDPs there.”
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has proposed the reintegration of repentant terrorists to ensure the absolute return of peace in Nigeria’s north-east region.
He gave the recommendation on Tuesday while addressing a gathering in Borno after visiting a camp housing people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
Guterres, who is on a two-day official visit to Nigeria – the first of such, believes the reintegration of persons forced to join terrorist groups during the over a decade-long insurgency will go a long way in bringing back peace in the region.
“The best thing we can do for peace is to reintegrate those, that in a moment of despair, became terrorists but want to become now citizens and to contribute to the well-being of their brothers and sisters,” he said.
Thousands of people have been killed and millions forced out of their homes in the wake of the insurgency that has lasted over a decade.
While the Nigerian government says it is winning the war against the terrorists, hundreds of Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) have surrendered their arms to the military.
Borno Of Hope Amid mixed reactions trailing the government’s plan to reintegrate repentant terrorists into the society, the UN scribe sees the move as a step in the right direction.
His tour of an Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp, according to him, shows that the people affected by terrorism want above all to go back home in safety and dignity.
Guterres described Borno as now a place of hope, adding that the way to fight terrorism effectively was to invest in livelihoods, reintegration, and people’s futures.
“The Borno I found today (Tuesday) is a Borno of hope, it’s a Borno with future,” he said. “The people I met today in the IDP camp want to go back home in safety and dignity.
“The way to address terrorism effectively is to provide not only hope but a future of reality. When I went around with the thousands and thousands of people that were there, I saw smiles, I saw enthusiasm, I saw hope, and this is where we must invest.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for the inclusion of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)in the fight against COVID-19.
The UN health agency made the call on its Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, official twitter account, @WHOAFRO, on Saturday, to commemorate the World Refugee Day.
World Refugee Day is an international event, held on June 22 every year, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.
“We call for the interests of refugees and IDPs to be included in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No one must be left behind; everyone deserves access to food, sanitation and healthcare,’’ it said.
WHO, however, thanked all refugees and migrants who were working with host communities to respond to COVID-19.
Similarly, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.Director-General of WHO, in a tweet, said the UN health agency was concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in refugee camps.
“WHO is deeply concerned about the very real and present danger of widespread transmission of COVID19 in refugee camps, as refugees often have limited access to adequate shelter, water, nutrition, sanitation and health services,” he said.
Also, in a message to commemorate the day, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said refugees and IDPs were among the most vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The secretary-general commended them for stepping up on the frontlines of response.
“From camps in Bangladesh to hospitals in Europe, refugees are working as nurses, doctors, scientists, teachers and in other essential roles, protecting themselves and giving back to the communities that host them.
“On World Refugee Day, we thank refugees for their resourcefulness and determination to rebuild their own lives, and to improve the lives of those around them,” he said.
In a recent policy brief, Guterres urged governments to ensure “people on the move” were included in pandemic response and recovery.
In addition, he called on countries to end conflict that drove “appalling displacement numbers.”
He reminded countries of their fundamental obligation to protect the nearly 80 million people worldwide forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution and other crises.
The UN chief also praised the nations and communities hosting refugees and internally displaced people often amid their own economic and security challenges.
“We owe these countries our thanks, our support and our investment,” he said.
He quoted the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, as having reported on Thursday that global displacement was at a record high.
“Figures reached 79.5 million in 2019, with 10 million people fleeing in the past year alone.
“On World Refugee Day, we pledge to do everything in our power to end the conflict and persecution that drive these appalling numbers,” Guterres said.
The Tarkwa Bay Beach is touted as one of the cleanest and most peaceful beaches in Lagos. A major tourist site that sees a lot of visits and offers a getaway from the hustle of Lagos, may no longer be available to the public.
The Tarkwa Bay island beach has been in existence since 1960. On the outskirts of the island is a 110 year old Lighthouse on Lighthouse Beach.
Tarkwa Bay has remained largely undeveloped in spite of its tourist attractions and the rate of development in other parts of the area. Opposite the bay is the Eko Atlantic Housing project.
There’s a community of people who live on the island. Occupations on the island include Fishing, Water transportation, Petty trading, Chalet Keepers, Gardeners, Civil Servants, Oil Workers (NNPC), Vessel Workers, Canopy Rentals, Mini Restaurant / Bar Operators, Security Guards, Fashion Designers, Baggage Handlers, Craftsmen and general artisans.
On January 21 2020, officials of the Nigerian Navy stormed into the Tarkwa Bay community, firing shots into the air and gave the residents one hour to vacate the island.
The residents were being evicted on claims of vandalism and illegal drilling of pipelines. There were openly dug pits across the edge of the island, containing oil and water. Some reports say that the vandalism occurred off the island, but the residents did not report the illegal acts.
The Beach is only accessible by ferries and canoes, these poor residents had to quickly evacuate the island without having enough notice from the naval officers who chased them out.
All these people have been displaced with no alternative source of accommodation or compensation provided by the government following the evacuation. This is an infringement of the basic rights of the residents. It is also against international treaties that Nigeria has agreed to be bound by.
The beautiful island of Tarkwa bay that has been a favourite getaway spot for many Lagosians will no longer be available for the public.
These people lost not only their homes but also their means of livelihood. Those who were fishermen have lost access to the water.
The Tarkwa Bay beach is not the first to suffer this kind of illegal eviction, several other communities like this have been affected by the eviction actions of Nigerian Navy officials.
The federal government may have concluded plans to discontinue free distribution of relief materials to an estimated 2.4million Internally Displaced Persons in rehabilitation camps across the country.
The Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons(NCFRMI), Senator Basheer Mohammed gave the hints Monday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. NobleReporters learnt
According to him, from first quarter of 2020, State governments will assist the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in reintegrating the IDPs to their original settlements.
He said the strategy for the reintegration of the IDPs going forward would be to provide care, maintenance and durable solutions to the needs of the displaced, most of whom were forced out of their original communities by insurgency.
Mohammed said, “The Commission has deemed it necessary to move from the provision of relief items to care, maintenance and durable solutions that will reintegrate our persons of concern (POCs) into normal lives where they can thrive.
“We currently have 2.4million IDPs in camps and host communities across the country. Though stability has been restored in many areas that generated the IDPs, the persons of concern are unable to return home for lack of durable solutions to ensure their smooth reintegration.
“In 2020, my first point of action will be to work with state governors to return and reintegrate IDPs to their communities, it is time that they begin to live normal lives and feel the pulse of a growing Nigeria.
“Recognizing the need for education at every level and the special needs of IDPs, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons will build educational learning centres in all IDP camps.
“This will encourage learning in children unable to attend regular schools and those with special needs due to the trauma of displacement.”
The President, Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Rev Dr Dachollom Datiri, has assured Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Gashish District of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State of the church’s support to enable them reclaim their stolen lands.
He urged the federal and state governments to provide adequate security for safe return of the IDPs in to their homes.
Rev Datiri stated this during the official flag-off and distribution of relief materials, comprising of roofing zincs, nails, cements and fertilizers in collaboration with the Hungarian Government for IDPs who were displaced in June 2018 in Gashish District of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area.
“We will do everything possible to assist you to return to your homes. You must not abandon your villages for foreigners who are bent on taking over your land forcefully,” he said.
“I urged government at all levels to provide security in all affected communities in Plateau, particularly villages that were destroyed in June 2018 to enable the people return. It is the responsibility of government to protect lives and property of the citizens.
“You must take advantage of the relief materials provided to you by the Hungarian Government in collaboration with COCIN Church to go and start rebuilding your burnt houses. You must not abandon your villages to strangers who fight to forcefully take over your land.
“These materials are provided by the Hungarian Government for people who were affected by the crisis in Gashish District of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area in June 2018, and people of Goza in Borno State for proper relocation and rehabilitation.”
He noted that the church was demoralised with the crisis that rocked Gashish in June 2018 when women, children and the aged were seen languishing in Internally Displaced Persons camps across the state.
“You have suffered and stayed homeless, living in the cold with children after the crisis, but hope came our way with the intervention of God. We made contact with the Hungarian Government, and today they have provided us with building materials to commence the rebuilding of our homes.”
COCIN Director of Health Dr Nantok Dami said the materials were provided by the Hungarian Government to assist the persecuted church in Plateau and Borno states.
Dr Dami said the Hungarian Government presented 2,700 bags of cement, 1,710 bags of fertilizer, 1,900 bundles of zinks and 1,425 packets of zink nails for affected people in Barkin-Ladi LGA in Plateau and Goza community in Borno State.
He explained that for Plateau, the items were shipped between the affected persons in Ropp and Gashish in Plateau, and each household went home with 3 bundles of zincs, 3 bags of fertilizer, four bags of cement, two packets of zinc nails to commence the reconstruction of their burnt houses.
The Plateau State Government has resettled Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) resident at the Hall of Geosciences in Anguldi, Jos, back to their home communities. They had been until given December 31 to vacate to their respective communities in Barkin-Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of the state.
Secretary to the Government of Plateau State, Prof Danladi Atu, who is the head of a high-powered government committee on the resettlement of the IDPs in the state, disclosed this in Jos, adding that the resettlement and rehabilitation would be carried out in three phases.
He said the state government will ensure that all IDPs who have indicated interest to go back to their various home communities in the state will be relocated.
“We have out in place machinery to resettle IDPs on the state,” he said. “The first phase would be security provisioning, which would be done by a combined team of the Nigerian Police, Operation Safe Have (OPSH), Operation Rainbow, Neighborhood Watch, Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) and other security outfits to create the enabling environment for the second phase: the reconstruction of burnt down houses and economic empowerment.”
Prof Atu explained that the third phase was the provision of basic social amenities such as feeder roads, pipe borne water, reconstruction of schools and healthcare facilities, as well as the reintegration of communities affected by the crises of the recent past.
“I am calling on all stakeholders, particularly Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), corporate individuals and other [public] spirited individuals to join hands with the state government in ensuring that the IDPs are resettled within a short period of time.
“We commend the Plateau State Governor, Rt Hon Simon Lalong for his forthrightness at peace building and employing inclusive governance, which has paved the way for the return of peace in the state, especially to troubled spots.”
Prof Atu performed the symbolic presentation of assorted food items, building materials such as cement, bundles of corrugated zinc, wood, nails and other agricultural implements like water pumping machine, etc, to the returnees, stressing that government took the decision to provide them with the items in order to allow them reconstruct their homes to suit their needs.
The chairmen of Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas, Hon Ezekiel Mandyau and Hon Mafeng Gwalson both expressed delight over the development, describing it as timely.
According to them, the people had stayed away from their homes and sources of livelihood for a period between one and seven years.
They urged both the state and federal governments to do more to assuage the plight of the IDPs, whom they lamented had lost love ones, especially bread winners and even sources of livelihood, to get back on their feet
Hon Dachollom Jambol, speaking on behalf of the returnees at Riyom LGA, called on the state government to ensure that adequate security was provided for them, stressing that most of the returnees have no homes to go back.
Mrs Abigail Chung and Mr Moses Rwang, both returnees, said they were returning back to their communities to rebuild their lives, having been displaced for more than three and four years, respectively.
The Da Gwom Rwei of Riyom District, Da Sam Jok, on his part, expressed satisfaction with the relocation, saying that the people who were once productive and industrious can now go back to their vocations and trades.
Da Jok promised to continue to work closely with their Fulani counterparts in the locality to curb crime and criminality, while ensuring that the factors which led to the violence of the past are addressed collectively.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has donated food items to over 80,000 internally displaced persons in Guma and Makurdi local government areas of Benue State.
The Committee is also carrying out a livestock de-worming campaign, which has reached over 100,000 cattle and other small ruminants belonging to pastoralist communities affected by violence in Nasarawa State.
The assistance, according to Majid Bakhtiary, Head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Jos, were provided to alleviate the suffering of people in the affected areas.
“The humanitarian situation here is difficult, and the ICRC helps the most vulnerable communities,” Bakhtiary said.
Daily Sun gathered that the six weeks de-worming campaign which aims to improve the health condition of about 100,000 cattle and 40,000 sheep and goats of livestock owners, started on November 12 in Awe, Keana and Nasarawa local government areas of the state.
At the same time, the ICRC in collaboration with the Nigeria Red Cross Society (NRCS) concluded food distribution to some 80,000 people in displacement camps in Guma and Makurdi local government areas.
Additionally, the ICRC in partnership with the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services in Plateau State trained 160 people, among them NRCS volunteers, community animal health workers and community leaders.
The training covered basic animal disease and treatment that would enable participants to assist livestock herders in remote areas where veterinary services are not available.
Bakhtiary recalled that in November, 25 veterinarians and community animal health workers from 20 states received training in Abuja on livestock emergency guidelines to treat animal disease in conflict-affected areas.