IDPs resort to begging in Hadejia to survive

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HADEJIA (JIGAWA) – Some persons displaced as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, have resorted to begging in major streets of Hadejia town in Jigawa, to fend for themselves.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), comprising of women and children, roam the streets, offices, market places and other strategic locations, to beg for alms.

NAN checks showed that some of the IDPs were taking refuge in unoccupied stalls at Hadejia market, due to lack of approved camp in the area, while others, who migrated from Yobe and Borno states, as well as Niger Republic, were staying with relations in Hadejia town.

Hauwa Bakari, one of the displaced persons, said she was forced to beg to fend for herself and her three children.

Bakari said she came to Hadejia from Doron Baga in Borno, after insurgents sacked the town.

Another displaced person, Merama Yusufu, said she and other displaced persons had not received assistance from any source since their arrival from Niger Republic.

“We are surviving on alms from the community and sleep on bare floor at the market.

“We visit hospitals when we fall sick and buy drugs from the money realized from street begging.

“The traders and people of Hadejia are generous and always support us,” she said.

Commenting on the situation, Alhaji Haruna Shu’aibu, the Chairman,Hadejia Fish Sellers Association, described the condition of the IDPs
as “pathetic”.

Shu’aibu said the IDPs had been leaving under terrible condition in the past months, exposing themselves to all forms of hazards.

He noted that the traders union in the area had provided food items to the IDPs, to mitigate their sufferings.
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The chairman called on the government, as well as wealthy individuals, to assist the IDPs.

Also commenting, an official of Hadejia Local Government Council, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the state government had concluded head-count of the IDPs, with a view to assisting them.

The official explained that the state government provided transportation to displaced persons of Jigawa, to enable them re-unite with their families.

According to him, some state governments had also evacuated their people among the IDPs staying in the area.

Meanwhile, Jigawa government says it spent N100 million on the repatriation and integration of persons displaced as a result of the activities of insurgents in the North East.

Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Lawan Abdu, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse.

He said that 52,652 victims of Boko Haram attacks fled to Jigawa, out of which 18,670 were indigenes, while 33982 were non-indigenes.

Abdu said the indigenes were integrated with their families, while the non-indigenes were repatriated back to their respective states.

“Though the state government did not provide any camp for the refugees, each victim was given a token of N5000 before his integration or repatriation,” he said. (NAN)

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