by Christians Gokyo, Jos
A Non-Governmental Organization, ‘International Alert,’ in collaboration with EU, said it had provided psychosocial support to 6,000 victims of insurgency in Gujba, Potiskum and Damaturu local government areas of Yobe State.
Yobe Project Manager, Mr Williams Ubimago, disclosed this to newsmen in Damaturu on the sidelines of the NGO’s workshop on ‘Validation of Draft Joint Community Action Plan and White Paper for Integration.’
Mr Ubimago explained that, the victims received support through community dialogue, support session for women and girls, multi-stakeholders’ dialogue and family support sessions.
He stated that, the beneficiaries were mainly children and women, who were abducted and sexually abused by Boko Haram, adding that, the objective of the NGO was to eradicate stigmatization of the victims and ensure they were fully integrated into their communities.
“There are various challenges encountered by the victims upon returning to their communities. In Gujba, for instance, we have heard of women and children, who either escaped or rescued from Boko Haram by the military.
“Upon return to their communities, the community chased them back to the bush because they accused them of subscribing to the Boko Haram ideology,” he said.
While expressing disappointment over how the community members rejected the victims, he lamented thus: “So, how can community members reject their loved ones, who are not the architects of their misfortunes?
“Therefore, this workshop is aimed at communicating with policy makers to have a policy framework such that survivors are not discriminated, stigmatized or chased from their communities,” he noted, and commended the State Government, traditional rulers and religious leaders for their various supports since the NGO began its operation in the state, in January, 2019.