We have 2.1 million IDPs in 31 Camps – DG NEMA
By; Kunle Sanni, Kaduna.
Despite recent successes recorded by the Nigerian military that saw some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) returned home, there are still 2.1 million IDPs in 34 camps in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi has said.
Sidi also said that 2, 400 school children from the various IDP camps have been transferred to various Unity Schools across the country to continue their education on scholarship from the Save School Initiative programme supported by ex- British Prime Minister, Mr Gordon Brown.
Speaking in Kaduna after receiving the best performing civil servant and the best organisation for good governance awards from Northern Youth Council, the NEMA boss said that with the continuing efforts of the Nigerian military that have led to the liberation of the seven local government areas previously under the control of Boko Haram insurgents, Nigeria has passed the emergency stage in North East.
According to Sidi, what is required now is reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region as the war is almost over. “In the last five years, we have insurgency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states which made the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the three states. There was mass displacement of people. We still have 2.1 million internally displaced persons with over 1 million of them in Borno State.
“We had to establish formal camps in the three states. There are about 26 camps in Borno, 11 in Adamawa and four in Yobe, we used to have IDP camps in Gombe and Bauchi States but due to the successes recorded under this administration the seven local government controlled by the insurgents have been liberated. The 11 camps in Adamawa state have been collapsed to four, as IDPs return to their various houses.
“Government has policies and programmes to support those displaced. The presidential committee for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the displaced people led by Gen T.Y Danjuma (rtd), the Save School Initiative, a public-private partnership programme. These are geared towards supporting the youths of Nigeria.
“Many schools were closed down in the last two years and some have not been reopened, 2,400 children were transferred under Safe School scheme from the Northeast to other parts of the country under the scholarship. There is the programme of building and rehabilitation of all schools affected in the three states. Nigerian government is doing a lot to support the IDPs who are fed thrice daily.”
President of the Northern Youth Council, Mallam Isah Abubakar said NEMA and its DG were given awards to appreciate their efforts and achievements, while motivating them and other organisations to do more especially in this new era of change.
“The National Emergency Management Agency and the Director General of NEMA were given the awards because of their achievements over the years, such as youth empowerment, quick disaster response, leadership qualities, initiative to partner with international organisations to bring relief materials to Nigeria for IDPs, building a base in Abuja for emergency response, steady supply of food to IDPS as part of human development.
“Alhaji Sani Sidi also made NEMA popular and recognisable with his initiatives and programmes for disaster management and prevention. He organised special classes for the children in the camps, while allowing 120 IDPs in the camps to marry thus making the IDPs to be comfortable in the IDP camps, that they don’t want to go back home.”
He urged NEMA and the federal government to revive agriculture, industries, dams for waters supply and textile industries to create employment opportunities for the teeming Nigerian youth and take them away from vices.