POVERTY? These Blue Caravans Won't Let Bayelsa IDPs Go Home
"It is better for us to remain Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) than to go home without all our relief materials", some flood victims in Bayelsa appear to be saying.
Sometimes poverty can make people act strange or is it just a quest to get a share of the national cake?
Flood had displaced some persons in Bayelsa State and for weeks, they were forced to put up in make-shift camps.
After several weeks, the flood began to recede and the government asked students who have been told to go home for safety reasons to resume.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had occupied their schools, but it was time to go home.
The Federal and State governments had brought in relief materials few days to the time they would leave the camp while some items from well meaning Nigerians and companies also came in on their supposed last day at the camp.
They were gradually becoming like Moses who saw the promised land but could not enter in.
It was a relief they had waited patiently for all through their stay at the camp and now that they have arrived, going home without it is not something they want to contemplate.
Scattered in camps across the eight local government areas in Bayelsa state, the IDPs were asked to go home on November 10, with the state government officially closing the camps.
It was the Director General, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Major Zeddy Isu, that spearheaded the closure, but the IDPs still see two big blue caravans and those locked containers have held them bound to the camps.
At the day of the closure of the camps, food and non-food items donated to the IDPs by both Federal, State governments, churches and individuals were distributed among them by SEMA officials under the supervision of security agents and the camp leaders.
But like Oliver Twist, the people wanted more of everything.
They have suddenly become greedy and saw their displacement as a means to acquire in some cases more than they initially had.
When Bounce News visited the camp on Monday, the people refused to leave the uncompleted building.
Pointing to a big blue caravan, a group leader, Mr Preye Kiuna said: "There are over 100 bags of foreign rice and other food items there.
"We will remain in this camp until they share our mosquito nets, mattresses, wrapper, towels and pillows".
The items were donated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on November 10.
While they make the demand, one of the women who delivered her baby at the camp, Mrs Abi Elohor, has expressed gratitude for what she has received so far.
She told Bounce News that she was grateful to all those who donated different items to ease their suffering.
"My family and l will return to our house on Wednesday morning.
"May God uplift all the people that donated items to make up happy," she said.
While some parents were focused on receiving more raw food items, their children who ought to be in school with their peers were seen playing.
And like the biblical lepers, only Abi Elohor remembered to thank her benefactors.
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