Buhari regime treats us like chickens, Boko Haram terrorists as children: IDPs - The Naija Weekly

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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Buhari regime treats us like chickens, Boko Haram terrorists as children: IDPs


Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime of treating them as worthless, calling on the government to look after them like repentant Boko Haram terrorists and Niger Delta militants.

Luka Yathuma, IDPs secretary at the Kuchigoro Camp, Abuja, pleaded with Mr Buhari’s regime to rehabilitate the displaced as it did ex-Boko Haram terrorists and Niger Delta militants.

On Sunday, Mr Yathuma said such a gesture would go a long way in enhancing the living standards of IDPs and give them a sense of belonging.

“We are law-abiding citizens of the country who don’t want to cause any harm to anyone. The people that put us in this condition are rehabilitated, trained in skill acquisition, and after that, they are empowered,” he pointed out. “Those of them that want to go to school are being given scholarships to go to school. But what about their victims that are dropping out of school because of the condition they found themselves in?”

He reiterated that while it was not wrong for the federal government to rehabilitate those who took up arms against the country, it was even more important to care for Nigerians who have been law-abiding.

“We are begging the federal government also to rehabilitate IDPs, provide them with skill acquisition opportunities and scholarships to make their lives better like the ex-Boko Haram members and Niger Delta militants.

“But when we see the bad group that made us come here being taken care of, it breaks us down emotionally and psychologically. There is nothing wrong with rehabilitating ex-Boko Haram members, but what about the victims?” he added.

Mr Yathuma lamented the deplorable state of the IDP camp, warning that vulnerable youths may become “tools in the hands of bad politicians” and criminal gangs.

“If the country is not secure, the rich and their wealth will also not be secure. Go inside our tent and see, we lay on bare ground, and our children are suffering from cold, malaria and other illnesses,” said Mr Yathuma. “Recently, about six people died in our camp here in New Kuchigoro as a result of a cholera outbreak and no help yet.”

Further explaining the squalid condition the IDPs live in, he noted, “Our condition is terrible: some rich people will not keep their dogs or chickens in the tent we are sleeping. But it has become our comfort zones because we have no option.

“Before we were displaced, most of us had houses, cars, sources of income, and means of livelihood. But now we have lost everything. We are emotionally down. It is not easy.”

There are over 1,724 IDPs in the Kuchigoro camp.


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