No fewer than six million residents of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states have been directly affected by Boko Haram attacks.
The Islamic terrorist group has carried out daily killings, bombings, looting and destruction of schools, homes, markets and hospitals in over 40 remote villages in the three North-Eastern states.
And attempts by the military to contain the attacks and crush the sect’s violent activities had led to the escalation of violence by the terrorists.
According to reports from The Punch which was obtained from The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Assessment Capacities Project, which is dedicated to improving the assessment of needs in complex emergencies and crises, confirmed that six million people had been directly affected by the uprising in a recent briefing note.
The figure, it said, is half of the entire population of the three North-Eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
A specialist in African Affairs, Congressional Research Service, Lauren Ploch Blanchard, in a June, 2014 report said over 5,000 people were said to have been killed in Boko Haram-related violence, making it one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world.
The situation, according to the Human Rights Watch, is heavily affecting human security and causing civilian vulnerability.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, humanitarian needs are mounting in the North-East and the Boko Haram onslaught has caused displacement, restricted movement, disrupted food supply, hampered food access, as well as seriously hindered basic services and farming.
The OCHA said at least 38 local government areas in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states were hardest hit by the Boko Haram attacks.
According to the agency, 27 LGAs in Borno are badly hit, six in Adamawa and five in Yobe.
It said, “Half of the 12 million people living in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states are directly affected by violence. This includes 27 local government areas in Borno State, six LGAs in Adamawa and five LGAs in Yobe states.”
There is palpable fear that killer diseases such as polio and cholera may rise in the three states as a result of terrorists’ activities, the ACAPs said.
According to ACAPS, only 37 per cent of health facilities are functional in the North Eastern states, adding that dozens of clinics had also been shut down and doctors fled, leaving residents to seek medical attention in Cameroon.
According to the assessment, mortality rates have been increasing and vaccination programmes severely hit. Tens of thousands are missing out on vital services and the unavailability of shelter, food, water, clothing, and health services has worsened.
These developments, ACAPS said, could cause break out of polio; adding that Borno State accounted for 14 of the 53 polio cases recorded in the country in 2013.
However, with routine vaccinations now limited to Maiduguri city following the stoppage of anti-polio campaigns in many parts of the state, especially northern Borno, ACAPS expressed fear that the situation might worsen.
The agency also expressed worry that vaccinators were now scared to work in the affected villages.
The Boko Haram sect killed nine health workers on immunisation duty in two local governments of Kano State last year.
A break in procurement chains for anti-malarial drugs and bed nets is another concern, according to ACAPS.
It said, “Between January and May, 12 states in Nigeria have so far recorded 6,149 cases of cholera and 67 deaths. Bauchi, Adamawa and Kano states were hardest hit. The figures represent a significant increase compared to the same period in 2013, and the 2013 figures themselves represent an eightfold increase compared to the same period in 2012.”