John Adams, Minna
The Chairman of Shiroro local government area of Niger State, Mallam Suleiman Chukuba, has expressed concern over the plight and the living condition of the 110,000 displaced people at the temporary Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camp at the Central Primary School in Kuta, headquarters of the local government.
The internally displaced people, the majority of whom are women and children, were forced out of their villages as a result of sustained attacks by armed bandits.
About eight communities of Zongoro, Mozaga, Mazuka, Magami, Mazuku, Mazanga, Rumache and Chukuba came under heavy attack from the bandits in the early hours of Friday last week, leaving a District Head dead and 16 others, including the abduction of the son of deceased the village head.
Over 110,000 people are currently being camped at the Central Primary School in Kuta under the harsh harmattan wind, the council chairman saying the council is overwhelmed by demands for basic needs by the interns.
Mallam Chukuba who raised the alarm when officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), led by the Director-General, visited the camp at the weekend, pointed out that the condition of the people could better be imagined than experienced, stressing that “food and water are the immediate challenges facing the people at the moment.”
Chukuba disclosed that two pregnant women have recently delivered two baby boys at the IDP camp but have been moved to the primary health care centre in the area.
He gave the names of the women as Jemima Buhari and Zarau Bashiru, both from Mazuku, one of the affected communities.
The Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Inga, accompanied by some officials of the agency were in the camp to donate relief materials to the victims of the bandit attacks to cushion the effects of their hardships.
The items include 60 bags of rice, 25 bags of Maize, 15 bags of Millets, 25 gallons of groundnut oil and palm oil, seven bags of salt and seven cartons of bathing and washing soap.
Others items include 70 buckets, 200 potties, 39 dozens of tablespoons, 15 cartons of Maggie Cubes and 230 plastic plates.
The council chairman, while thanking the state government for the relief materials, said that there is an urgent need for the government to ensure that adequate security is provided in the area, adding that “no amount of relief materials can meet the need of the people.”
He also disclosed that the council has spent a lot of money to give medical treatment to those who sustained bullet wounds from the attacks, including a 25-year-old woman who was struck with on the head with a machete for resisting being raped by the bandits.
“In fact, the lingering insecurity in my local government, occasioned by the constant armed bandit attacks in some remote communities of the council is already taking its toll on my very young administration.
“The situation has almost prevented us from embarking on developmental efforts and programmes that can impact positively on the lives of our people at the grassroots,” he said