From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Negatavah Government Primary and Secondary School in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, have alleged that without immediate intervention, some of them, especially children and the elderly, may starve to death.
They said most of them have become beggars, moving from house to house, in search of what to eat.
The Permanent Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Nulvaga Danhabu, who confirmed the situation, said he got a distress call from the camp on Saturday and has since directed appropriate officers on what to do to solve the problem.
An IDP, Mrs. Yarda Musa, said: “When we came into the camp over a year ago, we were being fed three times a day; but, as we progressed, the feeding was reduced to two times a day, and for the past three weeks, we only eat once a day.
“As we speak, we don’t know what our children will eat tomorrow; our food has finished and our children are crying of hunger, but we can’t help it. Many of the IDPs are now out to beg for food from people in the neighbourhood.
The situation is so bad. We are not beggers. We had our farms and could eat our fill back then before we were attacked and displaced. We just want to call on government and public spirited individuals to come to our aid before we are consumed by hunger.”
Mrs. Rose Hosea, a mother of nine, who said most of the children in the camp were starving and now seriously malnourished, called for government’s urgent intervention to save the children from dying.
“We want to, also, call on government to provide security and help renovate our homes, to enable us return home.
Government should help us with toiletries, food stuff, medicals and mosquito nets, to protect the children from malaria and cold.”
The IDPs called for the deployment of military personnel to Bujum Kasua, Sabon-Gida, Mako and Didango, to enable them return to their homes.
According to the camp leader, Mr Dauda Mararafa, four persons from the camp, Mr. Omega Markus, Joseph Bwei, Friday Babale and Alexander Bwei were killed just this year, in separate ambush attacks, when they tried to visit their villages.
“The threat of insecurity in our communities in Lau Local Government Area is worrisome. All government infrastructure, such as schools and health facilities, have been completely destroyed.
“We want government to deploy Air Force Special forces, to conduct air surveillance and liberate our communities, to enable the people return home.”
Daily Sun gathered that hundreds of persons have been taking refuge at the school for over a year, since their villages were attacked and sacked by armed herdsmen, early last year, while, at least, two children have died of acute malnutrition.