THE United Nations Office in Nigeria recently put the figures of those directly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency at six million people in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in the north East of Nigeria.
ON the strength of this number, the House of Representatives in a motion raised by Hon. Abdulrahman Terab from Borno state asked the Federal Government to establish rehabilitation camps for the estimated six million internally displaced persons.
WE are worried that the federal government’s approach to dealing with the issue of insurgency since it broke out five years ago has been most uninspiring. It is shockingly sad to note that it took the United Nations for Nigerians to be informed that over six million citizens have been displaced by the insurgents. Sadly too, in terms of reality, there is little effort at rehabilitating those affected.
ALL Nigerians, particularly in the Northern part and the Federal Capital Territory where innocent and hapless citizens are being bombed in worship houses and other public places, several towns and villages had long been deserted, leaving the victims to roam about with no one to help them.
ASIDE being the location of a large-scale Boko Haram abduction in April, Chibok and its neighbouring villages have recently been the target of the deadliest attacks. Only recently, gunmen murdered at least 44 people in Kwada and Kautikari Villages, some 15km away from Chibok. The attacks have led to a mass exodus of villagers, who are citing constant threats to their lives. Leaders of the community revealed that the village is not only unsafe, it has been hit by famine.
MORE worrisome is the obvious fact that the internally-displaced persons include women, children and the vulnerable who are lacking in basic healthcare, sanitation, clothing, food and shelter.
IT is shameful that despite the vulnerability of people around these three states, there is no official camp to settle them, compelling them to squat in horrible and untold environments. This situation from various reports has made the victims vulnerable to various hazards such as snake bites, weather extremes and diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, among others, more especially among women and children.
FROM the foregoing, there is clear failure of relevant government agencies to perform their duties. The National Refugees Commission, National Emergency Management Agency and all such care giving institutions of government have abdicated their responsibilities to the victims even at a time when such services were most needed.
THIS is why we align with the push of the House of Representatives for the urgent rehabilitation of all victims of insurgency, not only in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe but also in Kaduna, Taraba, Benue and even the Federal Capital Territory.
WE call on the Federal Government to make adequate provision for the upkeep of the victims and placing them in transitional settlements.
WE call on the National Border Commission and the National Refugee Commission to swing into action immediately to build the camps for the displaced six million Nigerians.
HOWEVER, the Federal Government should redouble its efforts to stem the tide of insurgency and senseless bloodletting in the country. Nigeria has never witnessed the scale of near daily attacks, killing thousands of innocent citizens who know nothing about the reasons for the insurgents’ action. The heartless, cruel and inhuman slaughtering and butchery currently being unleashed in the north must be arrested.
THE Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah has continued to assure that government would put an end to terrorism in Nigeria and has been sounding like a broken record lately. However, we urge the COAS and his counterparts in other armed forces and police to take urgent steps to route the insurgents out of the country and its borders.      MERE lip service is not required at this time, but concerted effort. The fifth columnists within the armed forces in the war against terror should be identified, fished out and dealt with as well. The security agencies owe Nigerians a duty to free all kidnapped citizens, particularly, students of Government Secondary School Chibok from the hands of the mindless terrorist to free their parents and loved ones from the agony of heartaches.
WE also, call on the country’s international friends, helping to deal with terrorism to increase their assistance to the nation for quick results as Nigerians are daily looking out with high hopes for major breakthroughs in the war against terror.
THE judiciary on its part, should accelerate the trial of all terror suspects and ensure that all those found wanting are adequately punished for their actions. We believe that dealing with the insurgents head-on remains a permanent solution to the displacement of hapless citizens and time to do that is now.