27 March 2014

Nigeria: Three Million People Displaced in Nigeria

The Islamic militant insurgency in three north eastern Nigerian states where emergency rule was declared last year, continues to have its toll on residents of the region, resulting in the displacement of three million people since January 2014.

Similarly, no fewer than 1,000 Nigerians were killed in the Boko Haram insurgency in the region in three months. Borno State has the highest figure of 1,304,393 persons, Adamawa, 1,086,126 and Yobe, 771, 368; with most of the affected people being women, children and the aged.

The Vanguard newspaper on March 25, 2014, cited the Director-General of Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mohammad Sani-Sidi, as making the disclosure at a meeting with donor agencies in the capital, Abuja. He said NEMA, the Nigeria Red Cross and the concerned State Emergency Management Agencies, carried out a comprehensive multi-sector rapid assessment of the humanitarian situation in the area. The displaced are living in camps and host communities.

Sani-Sidi said although NEMA provided food and non-food items, water and medicaments, the needs of the affected population were on the increase. He solicited the support of all donor agencies in alleviating the sufferings of the affected. Responding, Choice Okoro, the Head of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNOCHA, in Nigeria, said her organisation would spend 75 million Dollars (about FCFA 36 billion) on humanitarian assistance in Nigeria.

She said 75 per cent of the amount would be used in the north-east. Okoro commended NEMA's openness in providing information on humanitarian situations in states affected by the insurgency. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, cited Soji Adeniyi of the Nigerian Red Cross as describing the humanitarian situation in the affected states as 'unprecedented.'

Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2001, Boko Haram seeks to abolish the secular system of government in Nigeria and establish a Sharia system instead. The sect has caused havoc in the country through a wave of bombings, resulting in the killing of thousands of people. Its followers are said to be influenced by the Koranic phrase which says, "Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors."

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