The June 2015 Displacement Tracking Matrix released by the International Organisation for Migration, in conjunction with National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has it that no fewer than 1.4million persons have so far been displaced by insurgency and communal clashes in the North-Eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.
The report showed that Borno State has the highest number of IDPs with 1,002,688, followed by Yobe 125,484 and Adamawa 113,437. Bauchi has 76,504, Taraba 20,501 and Gombe 16,984.
The report also indicated that in June there was a slight decrease in the number of IDPs compared to April, which was due to movements of people to their homelands like in Adamawa State where the IDPs witnessed a decrease and in contrast to Borno State where the IDPs population has increased since April 2015 reaching over a million mark.
While the report shows that 92 percent of IDPs live with their host communities, 8 percent live in camps or camp-like sites. The survey further shows that 52 percent of the IDP populations are female and 48 percent are male. Children of less than 18years of age constitute 56 percent of the IDP population and more than half of them are five years old or younger.
Globally, the statistics is equally frightening, with no less than 38million people internally displaced inside their own countries, and between 70 and 80percent of these are women and children. According to another report by the Norwegian Refugee Council, NRC, there were 12.5million IDPs in 21 sub-Saharan countries and Nigeria accounts for 3.3million IDPs, which is the highest in Africa, representing a third of the IDPs in Africa and 10 percent of IDPs in the world. Presently, Nigeria is only ranked behind Syria with 6.5million and Colombia with 5.7 million IDPs, respectively.
It is sad to observe that most of the displacements are caused by interrelated factors such as insurgency, political violence and communal clashes, as well as other forms of natural disasters like flood.
The challenge before most governments is that of protecting and assisting the IDPs in their different camps. Though, this is not a new problem, in international relations, it is the responsibility of each government to provide adequate assistance and protection for the IDPs in her country. Ironically, about 5million IDPs in about 11 countries are without any significant humanitarian assistance from their respective governments.
Therefore, the provision of assistance and protection to victims of war must be fast-tracked while non-governmental bodies willing to render support should be allowed since government alone cannot shoulder the huge responsibility. Unlike that of the refugees, IDPs have no international humanitarian institution with the overall responsibility of protecting and assisting them.
We appeal to government as a matter of urgency to ensure that the IDPs are properly rehabilitated and made habitable.
No doubt, the recurring violence across the country is an indication of poor governance and failure to address the national question. Or how else can anybody explain the wanton destruction of lives and property on pseudo-religious and ethnic grounds?
The spate of violence witnessed thus far, particularly under the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, with over 545 Nigerians killed by the Boko Haram, is a frightening record, and must therefore serve as another wakeup call to the government.
The All Progressives Congress, APC- led government has a crucial role to play in making Nigerians have a sense of belonging in their own country. Enough of the carnage.

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