Hard Facts about Borno IDP Camps

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Ring True 

By Yemi Adebowale; yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com; 07013940521 (text only)

I have finally laid my hands on a comprehensive document detailing the number of Internally Displaced Persons in formal camps in Borno State, the trauma in the camps and other documented terrifying statistics. There are almost 600,000 Nigerians living in squalid conditions in these camps. Daily, they dream of going home, but they can’t because their towns and villages are still dominated by Boko Haram. The few that returned home had to scamper back to the camps. These facts and figures (see table) punch holes in the lies that the Buhari administration is making progress in the war against Boko Haram. It is depressing for a government to persistently make claims of degrading Boko Haram, yet, IDPs can’t return to their homes. In these camps, human beings struggle for a meal a day.
There are also few IDP camps outside Borno State but dominated by people from the same Borno State. One of them is the Kuchingoro camp on the outskirts of Abuja. Recently, I watched a news report on this camp on Channels Television, with pictures of anguish. Many in the camp say they are apprehensive about returning to the North-east despite the orders by the FCT Ministry. The Deputy Chairman of the camp, Haliru Bello, said that news from their various villages indicated that it was not yet safe to return home.

About 2000 frustrated IDPs, mostly women and children, languish at the Fufore and Malkohi camps in Adamawa State. Few weeks back, they staged a peaceful protest over lack of food in their camps. Many families in these camps are in critical living conditions due to hunger. Malam Adamu Bukar from Malkohi camp said his wife and three children only eat once in a day. “Since early January, when they distributed the normal thirty days food items to us, we never received anything again,” he lamented.
I sincerely hope that with this IDP statistics that I have unveiled today, the leading members of this government, who have been obstinately peddling falsehood about victory over Boko Haram, will repent and focus on eliminating these terrorists, so that displaced persons can return to their homes.

The suicide attacks on a mosque and a market in Mubi, Adamawa State, on Tuesday should also serve as a wake-up call to these merchants of falsehood managing this country. Dozens of people were killed in the blast, when two suicide bombers, (with all the trappings of Boko Haram) detonated their explosives. A resident of Mubi, Abdullahi Labaran, said the first bomber mingled with worshippers who had gathered for prayers at the mosque at the edge of the market. “We have evacuated dozens of dead and injured people to the hospital and the rescue operation is still ongoing,” said a local volunteer, Habu Saleh. Kudos to the health workers at the Mubi hospital who mobilised to treat injured ones, despite being on strike over pay and conditions of service.

Recall that heavily armed Boko Haram fighters also entered Maiduguri twice last week, with suicide bombers in their company, and attacked Jiddari Polo and High Court areas, killing some people. The terrorists fired sporadically and detonated improvised explosive devices. This attack is perturbing, considering the fact that Maiduguri, the safest place in Borno State, is now home to more than 80% of the citizens of the state. My message today to President Buhari with this narration is very simple: Stop deluding yourself with fabricated success stories against Boko Haram. Nigerians are tired of these shenanigans. Our IDPs are desperate to return to their homes. They can’t do this if you don’t clear Boko Haram terrorists from the towns and villages they control in the North-east.

Site Names                                                          No of IDPs      Local Govt

Rann Idp Site                                                         55597            Kala Balge
Federal Training Center Camp (Dalori 1)                   29754            Konduga
400 Housing Estate Gubio                                        15235            Konduga
Farm Centre                                                            17564           Jere
Nysc Camp Borno                                                    5935           Maiduguri M. C.
250 Housing Estate (Dalori Ii)                                     12334       Konduga
Bakasi Camp                                                             21966         Maiduguri M. C.
Eyn Camp                                                                 1497         Maiduguri M. C.
Gss Benisheikh                                                          1675          Kaga
Mogcolis Camp                                                         2708           Maiduguri M. C.
Teachers Village                                                       16363        Maiduguri M. C.
Muna Garage El Badawe                                             27699        Jere
Dcc Shuwari Camp                                                    1701          Maiduguri M. C
Boarding School                                                         7889        Konduga
Government Girls Secondary School (Ggss)                24322        Monguno
General Hospital Damboa                                           6562         Damboa
Ngurno                                                                      4726         Monguno
Kuya Primary School                                              15267           Monguno
Gana Ali                                                                    5103         Monguno
Gardener Low Cost                                                    1157           Monguno
Water Board                                                           10191            Monguno
Government Day Secondary School (Gdss)                  7370             Monguno
Nrc 1 & 2                                                               3395                Monguno
Banki Camp                                                            33081             Bama
Gssss Monguno                                                      27204               Monguno
International School Camp                                       38232             Ngala
Mafa Primary School Camp                                        1464              Mafa
Custom House                                                           6608             Jere
Vertinary                                                                    9615            Monguno
El Miskin Transit Camp                                                2530            Jere
Stadium Camp                                                             3673            Monguno
Arabic Village Camp                                                      3032          Ngala
Bakin Lambu    401            J ere
Masarmari    2139             Dikwa
1000 Camp Dikwa    2148              Dikwa
Gssss Camp Bama    16058    Bama

War against Opposition Senators
The whole drama is fast turning into an orchestrated war against “opposition Senators.” I am talking about the rising number of Senators having issues with security agencies. First, it was Dino Melaye, then Issah Missau and Peter Nwaoboshi and then, Shehu Sani. These are men that have persistently (justly) challenged the executives at the state and national levels on the floor of the Red Chamber. I have tried holding back until the Shehu Sani saga. This man has rightly been a pain in the neck of President Buhari and Governor Nasir El-rufai. Many will not forget Sani’s role in the Babachir and Kaduna foreign loan fiasco. Then, suddenly, it emerged that this Senator is “a person of interest in a murder case” in Kaduna State. He is wanted in connection with a case of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide transferred to the police by 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, alongside an exhibit audio CD, in which his name was allegedly mentioned by the principal suspect. A murder suspect, Isa Garba, who was arrested by the military, was alleged to have implicated Sani. What a country! It was nice that this Senator representing Kaduna Central honoured police invitation in Kaduna on Monday. He wrote a statement, and was later allowed to go, based on self-recognition. Sani showed great maturity and finesse. He should follow up with a good legal team to avoid being dipped in hot palm oil. Some people are evidently desperate to nail Sani for rationally challenging powerful people at his state and national levels.
Back to the Dino Melaye soap opera, vested interests eventually got him arraigned in Lokoja for alleged criminal conspiracy and aiding of jailbreak. As expected, the Magistrate refused to grant him bail for an evidently bailable offence. Those after Melaye’s head will be pleased as the magistrate approved that he be remanded for 39 days, pending his reappearance. A man not charged with murder is denied bail. Just as I indicated last week, I am on the side of Melaye in this battle. I will always oppose a debasing treatment of any Nigerian by security agents. I stand for Rule of Law and democracy. Melaye’s arraignment on a stretcher was demeaning and unacceptable. Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, was apropos when he remarked that this inhuman treatment was undesirable in a civilised society. He added:  “It is particularly degrading and humiliating as it violates the fundamental right to the dignity of his person guaranteed by Section 34 of the constitution and Section 7 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.” Genuine human rights activists must rise and fight for Melaye.

Trauma of Teachers in Kogi State
Primary school teachers in Kogi State are wallowing in pain because they no longer enjoy full salaries. Their take home was slashed by as much as 80% at the beginning of this year and has remained so in the last four months. The Kogi State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers wants Governor Yahaya Bello to intervene and restore full salaries and allowances to its members or face industrial dispute. The Chairman of the state’s NUT, Thomas Ayodele, said Kogi Primary school teachers would no longer accept a salary of between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of actual value: “Underpayment, inconsistent percentage payment and omissions have so far characterised the payment of Kogi primary school teachers’ salary and must be stopped forthwith.” The union insisted that local governments hand off payment of teachers’ salary henceforth, saying “the State Universal Basic Education Board, which is constitutionally saddled with this responsibility, should be allowed to perform its functions.” The Kogi NUT is demanding for immediate payment of all outstanding salaries and allowances of teachers.
It is right to demand for the restoration of the salaries of Kogi primary school teachers. Governor Bello has to do this and very fast too. As we all know, governors hold the keys to the treasuries of local government. They are sole signatories of their state/local government joint accounts.
Primary school teachers in Kogi State are wallowing in pain because they no longer enjoy full salaries. Their take home was slashed by as much as 80% at the beginning of this year and has remained so in the last four months. The Kogi State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers wants Governor Yahaya Bello to intervene and restore full salaries and allowances to its members or face industrial dispute. The Chairman of the state’s NUT, Thomas Ayodele, said Kogi Primary school teachers would no longer accept a salary of between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of actual value: “Underpayment, inconsistent percentage payment and omissions have so far characterised the payment of Kogi primary school teachers’ salary and must be stopped forthwith.” The union insisted that local governments hand off payment of teachers’ salary henceforth, saying “the State Universal Basic Education Board, which is constitutionally saddled with this responsibility, should be allowed to perform its functions.” The Kogi NUT is demanding for immediate payment of all outstanding salaries and allowances of teachers.
It is right to demand for the restoration of the salaries of Kogi primary school teachers. Governor Bello has to do this and very fast too. As we all know, governors hold the keys to the treasuries of local government. They are sole signatories of their state/local government joint accounts.

Rising Unemployment, Poverty in Nigeria
The latest World Bank’s Bi-annual Economic Update on Nigeria is out. The report released on Monday confirmed the obvious i.e. unemployment and underemployment increased in 2017. It also reported that though, Nigeria emerged from recession in 2017, poverty in the country is on the increase. The truth is that industrial capacity utilisation has nosedived in the last 35 months. Industrialists and SMEs are running their businesses with huge encumbrances. There are very little positive stories to tell in areas like the value of our currency, electricity and fuel supply. This is why manufacturers and other private sector operators are creating few new jobs. This is also the reason Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose from 14.2% to 18.8% in the third quarter of last year, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics. The Buhari administration is not doing enough in terms of battling poverty and providing an enabling environment for job creation. It has been all motion and no movement. Any serious government would ensure a robust engagement of this unemployment and poverty figures. Buhari should be worried that Nigeria will soon surpass India as the country with the largest number of people living in life-threatening poverty despite the fact that India’s population is almost four times that of Nigeria’s. Living in extreme poverty, going by the parameters set by the World Bank, means living on less than $1.90 per day, an amount that cannot guarantee even the token needs for existence. This is another insignia of disgrace that should task Buhari. He should concentrate on pragmatic steps to pull Nigerians out of poverty instead of regaling us with corruption stories under Jonathan. Wise Nigerians are tired of these tomfooleries.