NOIPolls, Others Urge Buhari to Investigate Deaths, Sex Abuse in IDP Camps




IDPs camp in Borno
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in north-east Nigeria

By Innocent Odoh         The NOIPolls, an organisation that specializes in polling, research and documentation in collaboration with other Non-Governmental Organisations have urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to investigate the myriad of cases in the IDP camps.

The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the north eastern part of the country, ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency, have been reported dead as a result of deliberate diversion of food and relief materials as well as the rampant sex abuses and corruption.

The stakeholders urged this on Tuesday in Abuja during the NOIPolls presentation of survey report on the raging situation in north east following an intense investigation it carried out on the conditions of the IDPs in the region.

The Chief Executive Officer of NOIPolls, Dr. Bell Ihua  lamented the situation  during an interview with newsmen, stressing that  it has become necessary for the government to look into the matter and take appropriate measures to arrest the situation.

He condemned the diversion of food and relief materials meant for the IDPs by officials charged with the responsibility.

The survey revealed that 93 % of the IDPs believed that the food and relief items are not getting to them and this needs to be investigated, he said.

“These People are dying in their numbers on daily basis, access to health care is a matter of urgency and people are dying out of simple hunger and starvation.  If there can be access to food, access to health care, the lots of the IDPs in the north east will definitely improve,” he added.

Earlier in his presentation, Dr. Ihua bemoaned the widespread sexual abuse on vulnerable women and girls in the camps stressing that about 66% of the sex abuse cases according to the IDPs are perpetrated by camp officials both at the official and unofficial camps.

Members’ of the host communities are said to have perpetrated 28% of the abuse, while the elders perpetrated 6% of the crime.

NOIPolls therefore recommended   effective framework to track the materials as well as a multisectoral approach to managing the situation in the IDP camps. Dr. Ihua further recommended the need for counseling and socio-psycho support for the IDPs and massive investment in the agricultural sector among others.

The National Coordinator of the Social Welfare Network Initiative, Mr Emmanuel Osemeka, during his presentation, called on the government to find new ways of harnessing the efforts of the varying groups that are working to improve the situation of the IDPs even as he advised the government to increase the capacity of the IDPs to learn more skills and also help them market such skills.

The executive Director of Forefront Media, Mohammed Alfa blamed the Borno state government for being insensitive to the IDPs adding that Governor Kashim Shetimma stands indicted for playing down the true situation in the state, using propaganda.

He disputed claims by the governor that huge resources have been expended in the state to tackle the crisis, saying that evidence available suggests the contrary.

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