46,000 Nigerians Who Fled To Neighbouring Countries Return
At least 46, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) chased out of their communities by Boko Haram in the heat of insurgency have returned to Borno, in northeast Nigeria.
They had fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic when their communities were daily plundered by members of the dissident group pushing for an Ismamic State and an end Western education in the region.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which gave the figure, said the returnees were being housed at a Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Banki, a town in Bama local government council of Borno State.
The atmosphere changed, as the displaced persons got charged up by the sight of the arrival of what they imagined was food materials arriving the camp.
The Jubilation and excitement could be seen, as the IDPs all gathered around the trucks in anxiety. They want food and other materials that will make their return home more of succour and not a nightmare they will wish to will go away.
Coordinating them for the distribution was a task NEMA officials had to go through.
They began the coordination of the people to ensure proper distribution of the materials.
The Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, who was supervising the distribution of food items told reporters that thousands of Nigerians who fled their homes in Banki in the wake of insurgents’ attacks had returned.
Troops had heightened counter-terrorism operations in February of 2015, chasing out the insurgents from towns they had taken over.
“About 46, 000 displaced persons are registered here and we are receiving them on a daily basis in small and large numbers.
“The Federal Government is responding to the humanitarian crisis in the North-East region.
“Our mission is to distribute relief materials, food and non-food items to Nigerians returning from Cameroun.
“Government is aware that having secured the place and Borno in particular, the people who took refuge in border communities in Cameroun, Chad and Niger Republic would come back to the country.
“The government adopted proactive steps to meet the needs and requirements of the affected persons in terms of shelter, food, health, growth. We are committed to improve their well being,” he said.
Food crisis had been reported at some IDPs camps after they accused persons in charge of distributions of diverting food materials.
Some of the materials that the displaced persons received in the weekend distribution exercise were food items, mattresses, clothing materials And Mosquito Treated Nets.
According to Maihaja, 8.4 kg of food items were provided for each household every month.
The need to monitor items’ distribution to guard against diversion has resulted in the use of a comprehensive tracking system to monitor vehicular movement and distribution.
NEMA has adopted effective modalities to provide schools and clinics in the camps, to enable the affected children return to school, enhance hygiene and healthcare service delivery.
Other efforts of the government to ensure judicious distribution of the food could be seen in the presence of the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative.
The team led by Rear Admiral. A Z Gambo was inspecting the distribution of materials to various camps in Banki, Bama, Maiduguri and liberated areas.