THE UNTOLD HARDSHIP OF THE INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS IN BORNO STATE.

Have you ever try going a day completely without food? How does it

feel when your children don’t go to school? What will you do when you

are displaced from your homes and have nowhere to go?

The cause of internally displaced persons could be traced back to what

happened in Borno state in July 2009, when a militant Islamic group

and Nigerian security forces had a disagreement which led to violence

and the birth of boko haram issues that we are facing up to date. The

violence did not just end in Borno state but extended to other part of

the country like Adamawa and Yobe.
Today, almost all the 27 local government in Borno have been affected

by boko haram attacks where many have been displaced. Local government

such as Gwoza, Chibok, Konduga, Gamboru, Bama, Damboa and a host lot

of others were brutally affected by boko haram attacks.

The internally displaced persons have now scattered across the country

and its boundaries like Cameroun, Chad and Niger Republic. Some

doesn’t even know where their parents, relatives and friends are.

In Borno state, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are found in camps

such as the Bakassi camp, Arabic Teachers college camp, some in the

homes of their love ones while others are taken care of by the Non

Governmental Organisations (NGOs) through constructing tent for them

to live in.
Some NGOs officials said they help the IDPS by providing food, shelter

and ensure their health is at its best. They also train them in

different skills so that they can help themselves as well. Their aim

is to see that the IDPs have a better life as before.

But despite the effort of the government and the NGOs, the condition

of the IDPS is still so touching. Some even hardly eat food in a day,

for the issue of education, some don’t even talk about it because they

don’t have the money to send their children to school.

According to Yabalu Ali an internally displaced person, their major

problem is food, “our major problem is food, we hardly eat food in a

day, for our children’s education, we don’t even talk about that

because we don’t have the money to their fees”.

She added by saying that what sustains them is the petty hand work

they do. She then called on the government to provide them with food

because that is their major problem.
For Hafsat Mohammed, their case is not any different as food still

remains their basic need. She said their father use to buy small

quantity of food to them which does not sustain them.

Yes our government is doing its best, the National Emergency

Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA)

not forgetting the NGOS. But the plight of the IDPS in the camps and

street is still touching. Let’s make a collective effort by helping

the IDPS in all possible ways.
Let’s support our military and show them any suspicious persons and

objects in our environment. By so doing, we will help in getting rid

of insurgency, talk more of displacement not only in Borno, the

Northeast entirely but Nigeria.
Our past leaders, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Gen.

Murtala Mohammed, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and a host

lot of them have done a lot to sustain the unity and progress of our

country. Are we going to sit and watch our country, states and its

local government crumbled to dust? Certainly No.
Therefore I called on us fellow Nigerians to stand on our feet and say

no to insurgency. Let’s embrace peace and make Borno state a safe

haven where people can come into it and invest.
The present administration of president Muhammadu Buhari is doing its

best in bringing a lasting peace to Borno and Nigeria as a whole.

Let’s be so passionate about the IDPs and stretch a helping hand to

them. They deserve our love and care.
We enjoy the comfort of our beds while some IDPs don’t even have a

place to lay their head on. Some of them are sexually abused, they are

so ignorant that they can easily be seduced with food.

Fellow Nigerians, can we allow that to continue, please let’s be our

brothers keepers and help in the best way we can. We should know that

some of these IDPs we see today were not so yesterday, some use to be

millionaires but what is their plight today?
Come to think of it, it is true that what goes around will definitely

come around. Let’s help the IDPs, let’s show them that we love them.

Let’s not stigmatise them but bring them closer to us.

Our government should help the IDPs by providing more food to them,

hospitals, portable water and schools. You can’t expect a hungry man

to be so functional in the society without eating food. Food is what

they need first and other things follow.
When a man is hungry, he can do anything possible to get that food.

That is why when you see an IDP collecting money and an improvised

explosive, we can’t blame him, he is probably doing that because he is

hungry and also ignorant.
Nigerians, let’s save our IDPs, it is my duty and your duty to help

them. The NGOs and the affluent in the society are not left behind,

let’s do more and eradicate insurgency in Nigeria completely by

keeping alert and reporting any suspicious persons or objects to our

military.
Nigeria is ours and we need peace in Borno, the Northeast and Nigeria

as a whole. It is our desire that internally displaced persons will

very soon return to their various home towns and states to move on

with life in peace and harmony. Don’t sit on the, but be part of the

fight and campaign against insurgency and help the IDPs in your own

little way.
Yabawa Lazarus and Winifred Ijafiya are students of mass

communication, University of Maiduguri, 300 level.

SOURCE: The Nigerian Voice (local news)