Members of the #BringBackOurGirls (#BBOG) advocacy have cried out against the level of hunger and starvation witnessed in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
The group accused the government of not responding with the required urgency and treating the IDPs as second-class citizens.
#BBOG also accused the Borno State Ministry of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, and Resettlement (RRR) of doing an “abysmally poor job”.
Group leaders, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, made the accusation in a statement to mark the second day of the group’s Global Week of Action, which marks the Chibok girls’ 1000th day in captivity.
They accused the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI) of leaving much to be desired in its job of catering to the needs of the IDPs.
The statement reads: “Today is the second day of our Global Week of Action to mark #Day1000 of the abduction of our Chibok girls. Today is Day 1,001 of their abduction.
“Our girls are, themselves, IDPs wherever they are. The condition of IDPs in Nigeria is a humanitarian tragedy of immense proportion, as confirmed by several agencies. A UN expert on IDPs, Chaloka Beyani, after a four-day visit to Nigeria, described the situation as “displaying all the hallmarks of the highest category of crises”.
“Our government is not responding with the required urgency. We have continually highlighted the plight of the IDPs but, unfortunately, little or nothing about their welfare and well-being has improved.
“The IDPs population in formal camps is officially estimated to be two million. However, the vast majority of IDPs – accounting for up to 90 per cent of the entire IDPs population – are in informal settlements and host communities, most of which are not government-recognised.
“Many are trapped in territories the government declared free from insurgency and habitable for normal life. Places like Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Monguno, and others are only accessible via military escort. The others are completely cut off. For instance, only two locations in Gwoza are accessible to multinational and domestic humanitarian workers, the rest are only accessible via military escort, at most, once a day, the others are completely cut off.
“IDPs are dying of hunger and starvation. There are hardly any records of the scores of IDPs in and around Abuja and all over the country.
“The lot of those in government-controlled camps is not different. There have been confirmed reports of sexual molestation of IDPs by military and police personnel. The authorities claimed some have been apprehended for these acts and will be duly punished, but the matter has been swept under the carpet.
“In all, our IDPs are forgotten and treated as second-class humans, but they are not. Their plight requires all the seriousness and urgency it can get.”