Farmers/herders clash: Abaagana IDPs lament lack of basic amenities




By Funmilayo Adeyemi

 

Makurdi –   The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Abaagana Camp, Makurdi, have continued to express worry over lack of basic social amenities in the camps and exclusion from the society.

Some of the IDPs expressed their concerns during the assessment tour of the IDPs camp by ActionAid Nigeria in Makurdi, on Saturday.

Some of the victims while narrating their ordeals said they were displaced as a result of the feud between farmers and herders in January 2018 that affected many communities and residents.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that large part of the affected residents settled at the Abaagana camp.

According to them, many of the IDPs have no means of livelihood and this has become a serious problem to the state and the society in general.

Speaking with NAN, Mrs Monica Tarkusu, a 40-year-old mother of triplets, said life at the camp has been so difficult because of the lack of basic amenities to take care of her triplets.

Tarkusu said she is currently having a complication with regards to her womb because of improper care during delivery.

According to her, I am afraid to tell people what is going on with me because of shame of what people will say or think.

“My womb came out during delivery and the person, who attended to me just use her hand to take it inside.

“Currently, I am feeling some pains but don’t know where to go to because I cannot access a healthcare facility here at the camp.

“My husband, who is aware of my predicament, cannot do anything as he is held down with stroke,’’ she explained.

Tarkusu, however, appealed to well-meaning Nigerians and the government to come to her aid and provide her triplets with a good life.

Mrs Agatha Okaah, who also delivered of a baby girl about five-days ago at the camp, appealed to the government to come to her aid by giving her newly born baby the medical attention needed.

Okaah, who said she got pregnant before coming to the camp, could not continue with her antenatal sessions as a result of non-availability of healthcare facility in the camp.

“I don’t have medical treatment after birth and I have not also received any immunisation for my baby,” she said.

Meanwhile, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Official at the camp, Mr James Iorkyaa, said the government had played its role in assisting some the victims despite their challenges.

Iorkyaa said the government had made available an emergency school at the camp and also provided volunteers to teach the pupils.

“Government has tried so much to establish a clinic, so many government organisations and non-government organisations also come to give them healthcare.

“Government presence is visible at the camp as there had been an emergency school.

“We have boreholes around the camp and doctors without border provide two tanks of water on daily basis.

“We have volunteer teachers as the government has recently sent over 30 N-power teachers, who are graduates to make sure the pupils have quality education.

“But as regard her current predicament, the government is looking at it and will soon address the issue.’’

He, however, said that the victims at the camp were given the role to exercise their civil responsibility as they had been registered for the 2019 general elections.

He said that many of them had collected their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and would be allowed to vote in the next elections.

Similarly, Mr Godwin Agia, Benue State Programme Coordinator of ActionAaid explained that the visit was made to identify with the poor and as well meets their needs.

Agia said that lack of access to basic necessities like food, medication and sanitation had remained major challenges for IDPs, which triggered an on-spot-tour assessment by the organisation.

“These people are displaced as a result of the crisis that took place in January. From our assessment, we have discovered that they are really in need.

“We have issues of feeding, sanitation, sleeping materials. This assessment has revealed that as much as the government is doing, it is not sufficient.

“That is why ActionAid is responding in its humanitarian gesture to ensure they support these categories of Nigerians,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the Abaagana camp was accommodating over 34,000 persons, especially the young and women as many of them have lost their parents and are to a large extent disconnected from their family ties.

 

(NAN)





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