Why we backed down on threat to return home-Kuchingoro IDPs

Some months back, in the midst of hunger and bleak future some residents of the Internally Displaced Person’s (IDPs) Camp in Kuchingoro, a suburb of the FCT, had threatened to leave the camp en-mass for their respective homes regardless of pervading insecurity in the Northeast.
KEHINDE OSASONA recently visited the camp and captured the mood of the IDPs.
Not less than 2,000 Internally-Displaced Persons (IDP’s) in the IDP Camp in Kuchingoro, a suburb of the FCT, who had earlier vowed to leave the camp for fear of starvation and lack of medical care among others, may have backed out of their threat.
Residents of the Kuchigoro IDP are not alone in their predicament as there has been overwhelming complaints over the living standard of some of the IDPs camps across the country, over the absence of decent accommodations, water supply, security, access to medical care, feeding among others.
In appreciation of the situation in these camps, the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Humanitarian crisis; headed by Senator Shehu Sani, had expressed worry over the handling, alleged misappropriation and diversion of funds meant for displaced persons after a visit to different IDP camps in the country.
The Camp Kuchingoro is a growing community in the Lugbe Area of the FCT, and under the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
Over time the settlement of over 2,000 IDPs in the community has attracted attention to the state of facilities in the area.
Residents, mostly women and children from states like Borno, Adamawa, and Plateau, who have been living there since 2014, however, are said to be without means of livelihood making it difficult to for them to get by.
Escape from Boko Haram attack For 28-year-old school leaver, John Sulyman Yussuf, who is seeking admission into a tertiary institution, and the make shift shelter cobbled within the camp serves as home.
Yussuf, who alongside his friends received Blueprint Weekend at the camp, was among those earlier interviewed by our correspondent and had threatened to leave the camp because of the deplorable condition.
According to Yussuf, it was God that made him escape the Boko Haram attack as many of his friends and relatives were not so lucky.
He said, “Shortly before 2014, I had already finished my secondary school, waiting for admission.
So, instead of just sitting around, I decided to cultivate farmland for feeding and for sales.” The ever present threat Explaining why he did not make good of his threat to leave the camp he said: “Bros it is not easy going back to a war front.
So, I and others have since backed out and have continued to live our life here until God intervenes.” According to him, they still hear stories of killings and kidnapping on daily basis, back home in his village in Halaghawa, and near-by communities like Amudi and Njoshe, in Gworza Local Government, we hear stories of killings and kidnapping on a daily basis from some of our relatives in Maiduguri and its environs.
“So, tell me why I would go there after information reached me that my aunty, who had been taking care of my old father has been killed by the Boko-Haram people back home.
“The thing is that, most of those old men did not have anywhere to run to, so they choose to stay back when everyone were escaping during the attack that brought me to Abuja.
“Later, they told us that they did not kill the old men and women, instead they were being fed by their Boko Haram wives, who have also been teaching them with the Holy Koran in order to convert them.
“But, with this information about my old aunt being slaughter, I do not think that the risk is worth taking at all, I would rather stay back and think of the next thing to do for survival; or better still join my colleagues in their farming business in Nassarawa, before I get admission to further my studies.” Continuing, he said, “I am a man and I have decided to take my destiny in my hand, hoping that with God all things are possible.
Look despite the hunger and what have you, there are still some religious and charity organisations and other good people bringing foods to us, clothing and government people too, once in a while.
For me, that makes me feel like a human being at least,” Also, speaking to Blueprint Weekend another IDP, Hassana Bukar, not real name, lamented bitterly over the situation of things for them as IDPs.
The mother of one explained that but for spirited individuals and organisations that assist them from time to time, “hunger would have killed many of them in the camp, including children.” She said, “Just look at us here living like slaves when we have government to cater for us.
If not for some people that brought clinic and usually help us, a lot of children and even pregnant women, would have died here in the camp.” When asked when she would be leaving the camp for home as she had earlier threatened; she responded in Pidgin English stating, “Go home?I no think so o. No be where den still dey kill, where Boko Haram and soldier still dey fight? My family sef don comot for our village but I no know where dem dey now, whether na Cameroun or Nigeria.
“Make I tell you the fact, many of us been plan to go back, but the news wey we dey get say dem still dey kidnap and kill people make us stay back because we no wan die.” Similarly, other IDPs also complained about the lack of basic amenities, especially access to health facilities, as their major problem, aside feeding.
One of the IDPs, who simply identified himself as Jonah lamented that, “Many people wan go school sef but no money to go back to school.
No job set to do to get money.
If not for somebody that bring teacher for the small children for inside camp, dem for no go school too.” Speaking on the school, a middle-aged man who craved anonymity claiming the proprietor does not to speak with media, told Blueprint Weekend that the school was donated by a church.
He said that the church pays the volunteers who teach in the school.

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