Southern Kaduna: Giving succor to displaced persons




Displaced persons in Southern Kaduna can now heave a sigh of relief as help came their way recently in the form of medicare, foodstuff and toiletries. ABDURAHEEM AODU reports.

Thousands of people in Kaduna state displaced from their communities by bandits wallow in abject penury at the various IDP camps without any work to do and sometimes having to beg in order to eat. In many of those camps, they live in makeshift tents with neither medical care nor schools for their children. Respite however came their way recently when a company brought relief materials to them, the first of its kind since they were displaced.

Report indicates that these displaced persons spread across 15 camps all scattered in Southern Kaduna. The reliefs were in the form of foodstuffs, toiletries and medicare.

Attacks by bandits and cattle rustlers, killing and kidnapping people across communities in Kaduna state have sent a lot of people out of their homes out of fear of being killed or kidnapped for ransom, especially in Birnin Gwari and Southern part of Kaduna.

Following the displacements, various camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have sprung up. As at the last count, over 25 camps dot the landscape of the state with several thousands of men, women and children living in makeshift tents, without any work to do and no knowledge of where their next meal would come from as they wait for whoever God would inspire to assist them either through charity organisations or spirited individuals.

The humanitarian gesture In the midst of these, the managing director/chief executive of Agrolog Company, Dr Manzo Maigari felt the need to not only share in the pains of hundreds of lives and destruction of property in Southern Kaduna psychologically, but also identified with them through the company’s meagre resources by coughing out the sum of N20 million to cushion the suffering of the people.

The victims have been rendered homeless; therefore had to be hosted in unofficial camps and neighbouring communities in order to survive the onslaught of bandits. However, moved by the plight of these people, the company started by distributing foodstuff, soaps and sanitary pads, among other items, to the victims.

SOKAPU was represented

This gesture was in the company of officials of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) for proper identification of the camps for the displaced persons who are mostly women and children. The visit took them to Anguwar Zawu in Goni Gora at the outskirts of Kaduna metropolis, Chikun local government. The victims have been there for the past two years depending only on good spirited individuals, groups and organisations for survival.

The coordinator of Anguwar Zawu camp, Mr Habila Madami explained that the victims since their arrival in the camp are yet to witness any government’s intervention but they are being assisted by individuals and groups. He praised the efforts made by the Agrolog Company for coming to their aid with foodstuffs and other items, saying that it would go a long way to ameliorate their conditions.

Responding, Dr Maigari sympathised with the people by telling them that as a company, they have come to identify with them in suffering and to offer them their window’s mite. Mrs Juliana Manzo, who was also at the camp, advised the IDPs to be prayerful. She expressed hope that their situation would soon change for the better.

At Rimau camp, co-founder of Radi, an NGO that helped in seeking out the scattered IDP camps, Mr Reuben Buhari, explained the victims are made up about 14 villages across the River Kaduna that had come under constant attack of terrorists who invaded their homes, killed and burnt their homes and belongings.

He further explained that the displaced persons had to go back to their burnt homes after about two years to gather the bones of their beloved ones killed by the terrorists for burial.

He thanked the Agrolog Company for identifying with the people in order to give them hope with the foodstuffs and the sanitary pads.

Dr Maigari called on the IDPs to take heart over what has happened to them. He said that the company intends to assist them cultivate ginger in large quantities as a means of helping them have a means of livelihood, while assuring them that the company will come back to work on modalities before the commencement of the raining season with improved peace.

The visit took the team from the company to Zonkwa where the coordinator of the Mercy Camp, Rev Gambo Waziri, who was represented by Mr David Audu Nyat, lamented that the camp ran short of foodstuffs.

He thanked the company for coming at the right time to ameliorate their suffering, noting that the displaced persons, mostly women and children, came from Gora, Abuyab, Matei and other villages that were recently attacked by the bandits.

He prayed for God’s blessing for the company, stating that it is on record that no fewer than 30 children were given birth to in the camp. He therefore called on the government to come to their aid, while expressing joy at the humane gesture of Agrolog.

Assurance of further assistance

Dr Maigari stated that the company is involved in ginger farming and assured the IDPs that with the return of peace in Southern Kaduna, the company intends to engage 40,000 farmers in the farming of the product as a means of engaging the people in order to enhance their standard of living.

At Samaru Kataf camp, the company was received by Dr Michael M. Dogo, who explained that the camp, located in the Widows’ Training School, is a combined effort of ECWA Samaru Kataf DCC and Atyap Community Development Association (ACDA).

He further explained that at the peak of the attacks, the camp had about 7,000 displaced persons but said some had gone home.

According to him, so far, Ayap ethnic group has lost about 300 lives, following attacks by the suspected Fulani militia, with houses, foodstuffs and other valuables completely burnt down. He thanked the Agrolog Company for identifying with the people over what they are going through in the land, even as he prayed for God’s blessing, more open doors and breakthrough in its business as well as its service to humanity.

Again, DrMaigari sympathised with the people in the critical situation they have found themselves in and prayed for an end to the attacks, saying that this year, the company would engage more farmers, especially women and children in Ginger farming. He said the food items and other materials are meant to assist the victims ease the trauma they are going through.

Pastor Gideon Mutum of Kafanchan camp praised Dr Manzo and his team for doing a wonderful work to identify with the people in a purely humanitarian way, without any hidden motive. He prayed to God to bless and open more doors to the company in its various endeavours, while also stating that most of the displaced persons are not finding it easy to feed as most of those they are staying with have also ran out of foodstuff.

Agrolog company gave out foodstuffs and other materials to the victims and assured that the company would do all it could to give life more meaning to the people through its programmes.

With the packaged succour, the displaced persons were given new lease of life, as they beamed in joy knowing that their meals are assured and toiletries’ needs are catered for in the meantime.

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