Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The Katsina State Government Saturday disclosed that the number of internally displaced persons in the state had increased from 25, 988 to 33,130 under three weeks.
With about 30 percent increase, it was an indication that the challenges of banditry and kidnapping in Katsina State had been generated humanitarian crisis in the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Public Relation Officer of the State Emergency Agency (SEMA), Mr. Umar Mohammed gave the figure yesterday in a telephone interview with THISDAY yesterday.
During the conversation, the agency’s spokesperson confirmed that the number of IDPs and immigrants in the state had increased from 25, 988 to 33,130.
He gave analysis of the IDPs in the state, noting that out of the figure, 20,868 were children; 8,886 females, while 3,376 were male adults.
As revealed in official statistics THISDAY exclusively obtained from the SEMA on June 8, no fewer than 25,988 were displaced at least in eight local government areas (LGAs) between January and May due to the activities of armed bandits and kidnappers.
At that time, the agency classified the eight LGAs as flashpoints of armed bandits and kidnappers, thereby depicting Katsina State as danger zones where banditry and kidnapping were prevalent and rampant.
Specifically, the statistics revealed that 1,707 persons were displaced in Katsina LGA; 18,544 in Batsari LGA; 135 in Kurfi LGA; 1,440 in Faskari LGA; 2,426 in Kankara LGA; 513 in Danmusa LGA; 616 IN Jibia LGAand 607 in Safana LGA.
Also at the weekend, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) donated relief materials worth millions of Naira to the IDPs in the state.
NIMASA’s Director of Labour Services, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril donated the materials, explaining that the gesture was aimed at assuaging the plight of the displaced persons and complementing the effort of the state government.
Jibril said, “In this period of economic hardship, this is our own way of saying that we remember and care for them. The IDPs should know that they are not alone. We want to help reduce the suffering of as many families affected by bandits in the state”.
After receiving the items, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Mannir Yakubu assured the IDPs that the state government would continue to support and create an enabling environment for them to live a normal live.
He urged residents of the state to remain steadfast and continue to go about their legitimate businesses without fear, saying the state government had put machineries in motion to tackle insecurity.
The deputy governor, however, added that most of the IDPs had started returning home following the success of the government efforts in dislodging bandits and other criminals in the state.
“Although, the state government had successfully addressed the security situation, but there is need for all citizens to be vigilant by reporting suspicious persons or movement to security agencies”.
He lauded the management of NIMASA for the donation, saying it would go a long way in boosting the efforts of the state government towards alleviating the predicament bedeviling the vulnerable in the state.