AN ORGANIZATION, Open Data and Data Visualization Training in Africa, Orodata, has alleged that some federal and state government officials managing the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps across the country were selling some children for N100,000. Exposing the alleged fraudulent activities of these government officials, the organization claimed that some officials in the IDPs camps said group leaders who call themselves ‘Lords’ were involved in a massive child trafficking scam in the camps. Presenting the laege scale nature of the illegal transaction, the organisation used an info graphics chart to reveal the breakdown of child trafficking system in IDPs camps. Although the organization did not disclose in which IDP camps this dastardly act is taking place, it says it is a ‘low-key’ affair that even the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons, NAPTIP, is yet to be aware of.
Orodata, in a series of tweets via @Orodata on Thursday said the ongoing child trafficking scam in the IDPs camps has gone out of hand. See tweets below: “Nigeria – Trafficking in the IDP camps; stories no one wants to talk about, stories no one wants to believe. Both male and female children are sold between 10,000 and 100,000 by the traffickers. “Re-Telling #IDPs Stories Using Visual Data and Infographics #IDPsTracker has revealed that child trafficking biz is a thriving and well-run racket in most IDP camps. “That food items are not being supplied, no water or medication for sick kids. That they should be taken care of or sent back to their villages. “An IDP representative said they were not fighting but fighting for their survival to protest against hunger and thirst in their respective camps. The protesters involve mostly women and children. “Hundreds of IDPs have left their camps and have taken to the streets, while certain persons have
been taking advantage of IDPs situation to enrich themselves, no asked what will happen when the IDPs get tired.” The organization also claimed that there was evidence that government officials and leaders of groups operate an elaborate system through which they smuggle children out of IDP camps to make money and parents are forced to keep quiet through threats that they would be kicked out of camp into the waiting hands of Boko Haram insurgents. Nigerian Pilot Saturday notes that several controversies have dogged the IDPs camps including the latest where hundreds of them in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, who blocked highways early on Thursday to protest against poor feeding in their camps, have ended their demonstration. We also recalled that there have been many cases of complaints about theft of food and other items meant for the upkeep of the persons. In one of such instances, 60 out of 900 bags of rice purchased for the camps by Senator Ali Ndume got missing in transist even as the senator of some of his friends and Borno State government officials were awaiting the arrival of the truck conveying them. They were waiting to distribute them to the IDPs camps in the state but although they were escotted by heavily armed security operatives, the truck arrived with incomplete items. In Thursday’s protest, the angry IDPs, mostly women and children had earlier mounted barricades of stones, sticks and tires which caused massive traffic jam along the Kano-Maiduguri highway which is the main entry point into the city. The IDPs, who defied all pleas and entreaties from soldiers and police officials, insisted they would only remove the barricades and vacate the highway if the government supplied their food and attended to their other demands. “We are being treated like slaves here in the camp,” said Zakari Modu, a 32-year-old man from Marte. “We are only given a bag of rice to be shared among 15 people and that is to last for a month. Every three days the feeding committee will come and make tea and give each household just a cup to share. This is inhuman and we felt we deserve better treatment.” Though the IDPs suspended their protest after the government disbanded its committee responsible for feeding the protesters, they warned that henceforth they would not sit idle and lament in their camp again. “This is just the beginning, anytime we noticed someone somewhere is shortchanging us or we are being made to suffer, we will come to the streets and show them our strength via peaceful protest,” said Adam Mallum

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