The Adamawa Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) staying at the Damare camp in Yola have protested their exploitation by camp officials, they accuse of depriving them of the relief items offered to them by donors.
The anger of the IDP’s was unleashed against camp officials at the Damare NYSC camp, in Girei for displaced persons on Tuesday when the wives of both the Senate President and Speaker of the House of representatives, Toyin Saraki and Gimbiya Dogara respectively led a delegation of wives of members of the Natinal Assembly to present relief items for IDP’s in Adamawa.
The relief items consisting of mattresses, food items, pillows, clothings, school packs for children returning school and drugs, are items which Mrs Saraki said would be needed by the displaced persons when they are resettled back in their homes now that the insurgency has receded and peace restored.
The protesters said usually when such items are presented by donors, they hardly receive they items and therefore decided that this time the only proper thing to do was to ask for the relief items donated by the wives of National Assembly members be immediately shared to them on the spot.
This demands were made with rants of “Ba mu Ya da ba.
Muna so araba yanzo ah bamu yanzo. Inde Ba raba yanzo ba, ba za so bamu komai ba,” which literally translated from the Hausa language means ‘No, we want the items giving to us now, right away. We disagree we the items being left in the hands of the officials because we won’t get them,” they said.
The tone of the protesters which had now grown loud and at the verge of turning into a riot, got the attention of the visitors who intervened with Mrs Dogara taking the initiative of speaking with the protesting IDP’s in the Hausa thus calming the situation.
As soon as tensed atmosphere was calm, Toyin Saraki, assured the IDP’s that she would closely monitor the distribution and ensure the items get to each one of them.
Speaking on what transpired at the camp, Mrs Saraki said she saw no wrong doing on the part of the displaced persons.
“Because they simply wanted to be reassured that what we were bringing today would not just disappear into a store.
And I have assured them and as you can see they are happy with the assurances. The essence of human dignity is trust. We should all be able to say a word and mean that word and keep to our promises. The administration of the camp has assured me that these items which were presented in their thousands would be distributed to each one of the them”.
While reacting to the protest by the IDP’s, Bashir Idris who accompanied the delegation, on behalf of the NEMA DG, Alh. Sani Sidi, to witness the presentation of the relief items, said it was difficult to satisfy the IDP’s.
Earlier Saad Bello, the NEMA coordinator for Adamawa while receiving the delegation at the camp informed that the population of IDP’s, taking refuge in the camps had reduced from a high of over 60,000 at the height of the insurgency to just 4,000 in all the camps that are existing in the state.