Every day we hear the government of Nigeria and its official talking about the huge sum of money she is spending on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), across the country, especially those displaced by Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.
Recently, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Humanitarian Crisis, headed by Shehu Sani after a visit to different IDP camps expressed disappointment over the handling, misappropriation and diversion of funds meant for displaced persons.
The unfortunate thing is that most persons fingered in this corrupt act, are mostly those in the corridor of power, who are very close to a president that is purportedly fighting corruption.
For instance, Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President has consistently be mentioned in different dubious financial deals. Another top member of the President Buhari’s administration, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, was said to have used the sum of N270 Million to cut ordinary grass in one of the IDP Camps.
Just few months ago, another close ally of the president, his in-law to be precise, Bachir Sanusi Dantata and his son, Bashir Dantata, who is an in-law to Buhari’s Nephew, Mamman Daura were both implicated in a N5 billion diversion scandal meant for the welfare of IDPs in the North-East with no investigation by the Presidency.
This explains why an IDP camp in the heart of the Nigeria’s seat of power could be neglected without any consideration whether or not those suffering in that camp are Nigerians.
New Kuchingoro is a community under Lugbe Division, a slummy suburb of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Federal Capital Territory (FCT), behind National Stadium, by Games Village in Abuja.
The New Kuchingoro IDP camp has over one thousand five hundred and fifty (1550) inhabitants, who has been there since 2014, majority of which are women and children who have no means of livelihood. These IDPs are persons displaced from their ancestral homes in Borno, Adamawa, Plateau and Kaduna state, by insurgency and Fulani Herdsmen.
The standard of living in that camp is better imagine than experienced because what you have there is not something one can wish his worst enemy. For instance, the entire 1550 plus inhabitants of the camp uses one open latrine and one bathroom provided by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), surrounded with zinc and they are cited at the middle of the camp with hurts where the IDPs lives surrounding them.
Another shocking revelation about the camp is that with the huge population of women and children, the government did not dim it fit to provide a single security agent in and around the area to provide some level of protection for those vulnerable children especially.
The only security guards in the camp are the civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), who themselves are IDPs. According to the information gathered by Newsweb Express when our reporter visited the camp, the JTF, bought their uniforms, torchlights and Bartons themselves without support from anywhere. We learnt that police only come around the area when there’s issue of criminality and the JTF will go and report at the Lugbe divisional Police station.
Taking a look at their hurts where they live, one is force to think if the Nigeria government is aware of their settlement in that part of the town. Their hurts made and roofed with sacks, have a minimum of seven (7) people living in a space of 10×10 feet room.
When our reporter try to inquire if any government official has ever visited the camp to either sort to know their situation or bring them any information, they said since the FCT Authority gathered them there they never came back to address them in anyway.
The situation in the camp show is evident that the government not only abandoned them but has made up their minds not to think of their plight. The only good things you find in the camp were provided by NGOs, for instance, a borehole, clinic and a school where the children are beginning to learn.
During an interaction with some of the women in the camp, our reporter discovered that during the raining season, when ever it is raining, everyone is beaten by the rains as result of linkages on the sack roof of their hurts, this they say almost result to an outbreak of epidemics which informed a quick intervention by an NGO which latter provided them with a clinic.
Recounting her ordeal in the camp, a widow, Lami John, a 35 years old mother of two, who hails from Gworza in Borno State, said, “government don’t know this camp, the only people Who visit and bring us food items here are NGOs and Christian organizations.
“Most times there are people in this camp who sleeps with empty stomach because no food to eat. We don’t know how we have offended the government, we are hearing that very soon they will come and drive us out of this place. They want us to go back to our state and every day we keep hearing that Boko Haram is killing people.
“I will like to go back to Gworza but who am I going there to meet? In 2013, Boko Haram killed my husband and my parent, they even kidnap me and my children for more than 6 months, but thank God I escaped with only one of my child and they took the other one who was already 10 years old at that time.
“If they can restore peace in Gworza, I will be glad to return home because this Abuja no work to do, no business, no money, so I will go back home and be farming. How long can we continue to wait for people to help us? This government don’t see us as part of this country, if you have malaria, no money to buy drugs. You see pregnant women are suffering they can not go to hospital, thank God for one man that brought one small clinic here two weeks ago.”
Also, Chimbaki Askilla, a 24 years old girl, who was displaced from her community in Madagali, Adamawa State, immediately after her secondary school education calls on the Nigerian government to give the same attention she is giving other IDPs in the country the one at new Kuchingoro.
“I got separated from my family ever since Boko Haram attacked our town and the last time I spoke with them was May this year and they told me they were in Cameroon but I can’t tell what has happened to them now.
“I will love to go back to school if I have the opportunity, but I don’t even know anybody I can cry to now. Please help us tell government that we are dying here. There are so many children here that are not in school, we need help we need help”. She screamed.
Only God knows what will happen to those innocent children at the New Kuchingoro camp, as the charity donations by the NGOs are gradually drying up in view of the economic depression facing Nigeria. Government need to act very fast and treat them equally like other IDPs because these people are not the cause of what they are passing through, that camp currently has no presence of either the FCT, or the Federal government who has the responsibility to provide welfare and protect it citizens.