…Says, IDPs’ inhuman conditions, in hunger.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A non-governmental and non-profit making organization, known as ‘Eko Smile Support and Empowerment Initiative’ (ESSEI), has made a horrible revelation about internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kaduna State.
ESSEI, in a statement made available to newsmen Wednesday, is alleging that over 60 percent of the IDPs it visited in Maraba Rido – crises-prone area of Chikun LGA of the State – are populated with children whose parents were slaughtered by the gunmen.
A release circuited by the media coordinator, Ibrahima Yakubu, stated that the rest of the IDPs are mostly widows whose husbands had been killed in the attacks on their communities.
The NGO described areas as harrowing sub-human conditions of IDPs in terms of state of affairs in the camps.
“Over 60% of the IDPs are children whose parents were slaughtered by the gunmen that invaded, and, in some cases, occupied their villages. The rest of them are mostly widows whose husbands had been killed in the attacks on their communities. There are some men who were lucky enough to escape the attacks that cost the lives of many of their friends, relations and neighbors.
“From survivors’ accounts, some of the IDPs who, out of frustration, went back to their homes were killed by the bandits, who had taken over their homesteads,” it stated.
Records captured by the camp coordinators (name withheld) have the following statistics of the camp dwellers, with girls in 1,327 population, boys 1,036, women (mostly widows) 922 and men 634, respectively.
According to the ESSEI, “The foregoing data were as at the last head-count of the IPDs in the camp, which was carried out in December 2023. The number keeps growing as other victims and survivors of banditry attacks come to the camp to seek refuge on weekly basis. There are virtually no economic activities to keep the men and women, and are very prone to depression and despondency because of this situation,” it added.
The statement is titled, ‘Report on IDPs at Maraba Rido, Chikun LGA, Kaduna State.’ It reads, in parts: “Eko Smile Support & Empowerment Initiative (ESSEI) is a Non-Governmental and Not-for-Profit Organization, born out of the need to support in improving the living standards of the vulnerable population, particularly orphans and widows in our communities.
“Our organization visited IDP camps in Maraba Rido, Chukun LGA, on April 26, 2023, and saw the harrowing sub-human conditions of the IDPs.
“May 2nd, 2023 we organized a Humanitarian Rural Communities Outreach for the IDPs. This event was done to mark the Birthday of the founder of ESSEI, Blessing Eko Sunday. Highlights of the event includes; Free Medical Check-ups, distribution of clothes, drinks and talk on Dealing with Depression,” it noted.
It continues, “Please, find below a brief report on the state of affairs in the camp:
On location and state of the IDPs, it stated that, “Some of the IDPs live in uncompleted buildings, while others find shelter in any available space that benevolent villagers and residents of nearby communities avail them, while those who managed to get accommodations cannot afford to pay the rents.
“The IDPs rely on the goodwill of other poor villagers in neighboring communities and the efforts of the coordinators, led by Adams Sule and the local chief of the community, for feeding and clothing. The vast majority of the children do not have access to any formal education.”
The NGO also released what it described as “Facts on the IDPS,” adding “The IDPs are mostly populated by peasant farmers, who were displaced from their various villages from many parts of Chukun, Kajuru and Kachia LGAs of Kaduna State by bandits, unknown gunmen and other terrorist groups, most of whom are from Angwan Rimi Kaso, Wako, Suleja Kaso, Telele, Angwan Sarari, Angwan Gaida, Kaso Kurmi, Angwan Zhibada, and neighbouring communities.”
ESSEI prayed and recommended that the IDPs need urgent and acute relieve materials support like foods and clothing, make-shift accommodations, job opportunities, skills acquisition, empowerment training, educational support for the children and interested adults and medical support.
It appealed and pleaded for spirited individuals for links with organizations for collaboration to alleviate the sufferings of the thousands of the IDPs in Maraba Rido, Chikun LGA of Kaduna, in any other way possible to bring hope and succor to the IDPs.