The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) staying at the Negatavah Government Primary and Secondary school in Jalingo the Taraba State capital have alleged that without immediate intervention, some of the persons, especially children and the elderly, may starve to death as most of them have become beggers moving from house to house in search of what to eat.
The Permanent Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Nulvaga Danhabu, who confirmed the situation, said he “got a distress call from the camp earlier on Saturday and has since directed appropriate officers on what to do to solve the problem.”
An IDP, Mrs Yarda Musa, lamenting the hardships facing them, said lack of food and medicals were the main problems facing them.
“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 buggers. 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 9 who said most of the children in the camp were starving and now seriously malnourished, called for government 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 prevent 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 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.”
Our correspondent reports that hundreds of persons are have been taking refuge at the school for over a year now since their villages were attacked and sacked by armed herdsmen early last year and at least two children have died of severely acute malnutrition.