Contrary to media reports, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, yesterday debunked speculations that it has a camp in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, from the Boko Haram ravaged North East.
The clarification was made by the NEMA Director General, Muhammad Sani Sidi during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja.
The DG, who confirmed that the agency has heard stories about the purported IDP camp in Abuja, said NEMA has absolutely no connection with the camp.
He emphasized that all NEMA IDP camps are located in only Borno and Adamawa states.
“We have about 1.4 million IDPs both those that have been displaced as a result of insurgency and those that have been displaced as a result of natural disaster but 90 percent of this figure is as a result of the insurgency currently going on in the North East.
“At the moment, we have camps only in Adamawa and Borno States. We do not have any formal camp in Yobe State and that is a very good thing. What Yobe State government did was not to allow setting up a formal camp. What they did was to encourage communities to assimilate IDPs into the various communities. That is very good because camp is not a good thing; there are associated risks in the camp, they could be attacked.
“Let me be honest with you, when it comes to the camps in Abuja, I have reservations about those IDPs that are living in Abuja. When the insurgency started, we were given an approval to establish a humanitarian cell within the JTF. When you have insurgency and military campaign going on hand in hand, the consequence of it is displacement. We were conscious of that so we requested and got approval to establish the humanitarian cell within the JTF to be able to respond to humanitarian crisis that may arise as a result of the military campaign and the insurgency that was going on in the North East.
“We established camps in all the states that were affected. We have established camps in Gombe, Adamawa, Borno. These are states of the North East. You hear some people saying they come from Goza. I believe you know the distance from Goza to Abuja. They did not stop anywhere in any state in the North East. Only to come to Abuja; the most expensive city to be IDPs.
“There is FCT administration. When we got information that there are people who were IDPs from Goza in Borno State living in Abuja as IDPs, we tried to find out where they are and where they came from. In fact, we were alerted by a programme on AIT that captured some of them so I called my zonal coordinator and said you have to find out.
“I must tell you that there is no formal camps of IDPs in Abuja. There is no formal settlement that the government has settled these people as IDPs. These people were staying in certain communities in certain uncompleted buildings, in remote areas and there is no formal camp established in Abuja.’’
“There are situations where you bring relief materials and people who are even Okada riders are also IDPs. So who really is the IDP,” he asked.

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