At least 50 Nigerian internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in Niger Republic have reportedly died of starvation. Also, Nigerians living around Lake Chad were asked to leave by that country’s authorities because of the threats from Boko Haram terrorists.
According to reports by Reuters, 45-year old Ibrahim, who was displaced from Kebbi state and has been leaving in Niger, confirmed that 50 of his colleagues died on their way out of Lalewa town.
Ibrahim said: “I counted over 50 people that died on our way out of the town of Lalewa when the Niger soldiers were chasing us as if we are animals”.
Nigerians sheltering on the Nigerian border said they had been called out of their homes, lined up and cruelly hassled out with no provisions.
Musa Samaila, a fisherman from Lalewa, said he had trekked for three days and his son had died of dehydration in his arms.
“I can’t believe what happened that the government of Niger just woke up and decided to chase us out of a place where we have been doing business for years,” Samaila said.
The reports said the governor of Niger’s Diffa region firstly told people to flee last Monday for security reasons after an attack by Boko Haram, which killed 74 people. The time limit has been prolonged to yesterday evening, May 7.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, 25,000 people had arrived in the towns of N’Guigmi and Bosso in southeastern Niger after escaping their island homes on Lake Chad.
OCHA said most of these families needed shelter, food and water.
Niger’s Prime Minister said the country was supplying food and healthcare to those who arrived at the camps in N’Guigmi and Bosso while thousands of other Nigerians had been evacuated.
One of those who fled, Hanatu Saidu, told reporters that her husband had been shot by a Nigerien soldier in the leg when troops came to their town and told them to flee.
There was no systematic process for evacuating the Nigerians, some of the refugees said.
“The need arose because the Niger government wanted to conduct military operations in those areas,” Air Commodore Charles Otedegba, Director of Search and Rescue at NEMA said.
“They offered to relocate the Nigerians citizens to some of the IDPs camps within Niger but the people refused and chose to come back home.”
Six-year Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria has seen thousands killed and evacuated about 1.5 million people in the country.


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