Internally Displaced Persons in Bauchi State have lamented that they have been rejected, abandoned and are being treated as refugees in their own country.
The Chairman, IDPs in Bauchi State, Buba Shehu, stated this during an interactive session with the Security, Stability and Peace Building sub-committee of the Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma-led Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative.The sub-committee, led by its chairman, Brig. Gen. Habila Vitenaba, was in Bauchi for an on-the-spot assessment and to have an interaction with the IDPs, the government and people of the state.
Shehu, who spoke on behalf of all the IDPs in the state, regretted situations whereby food sent to them by the government were diverted by middlemen.
He called on the government to urgently come to their aid, noting that they lack access to basic social amenities like water, health care, education and many others.
He said, “Even when food is sent to us by the government, we don’t get them and for the little that gets to us, they will put us together with the physically challenged. Is there any physically challenged person more than the IDPs? Please, tell the President that we are really suffering and that next time any aid will be sent to us, it should be sent directly to us with no middlemen involved because these things are diverted.
“Is it because we fled our homes that we are treated as if we are refugees and not citizens of our own country? This is not fair and it is not right.”
He said their properties were being thrown out because they could not pay their rent anymore.
“Since you (the sub-committee) are here for us, we will have to speak out our minds and tell you our problems. Our children cannot go to school because we can’t pay their school fees. We cannot pay our rents anymore and our landlords have been throwing us out of their houses.
“Our children are jobless with nothing to do. Some of us only manage to cut and sell firewood and even this cannot meet our daily needs. Please tell the President to come to our rescue because we have been abandoned.
Responding, the chairman of the sub-committee, Brig. Gen. Habila Vitanaba, promised that their plights were noted and would be presented to the chairman of the committee for submission to the President.