Federal Government distributes relief materials to IDPs in Gombe

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, has distributed food and non-food materials to the Internally Displaced Persons living in Communities in Yamaltu Debba Local Government of Gombe State.

The Leader of the Delegation, Alhaji Abubakar Kari, who represented the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the donation was a short term measure that would be coming in from time to time to alleviate the suffering of the IDPs and assist host communities in taking care of them.

He said the programme would cover all IDPs in the North East, who are scattered across all six states of the region.

“This intervention we are presenting here today is a short term temporary measure that will come in from time to time in order to alleviate their suffering and stay in this community and also to assist the host communities in hosting them,” Alhaji Kayi said.

The relief materials distributed consist of mattresses, bags of three forms of grains, ten litre jerry-cans of vegetable oil, cartons of pasta, sugar, salt, buckets, mosquito treated nets and cloths for one hundred families.

Alhaji Kari reassured the Internally Displaced Persons in the North East that the Federal Government sympathises with them and will soon relocate them back to their communities which have been destroyed by insurgents.

“ We are here to visit the IDPs that here in Yamaltu Deba Local Government to see their condition and to also them that government feels their pain, government is doing everything possible to ensure they are comfortable for the meantime they are here and also to assure them and to tell them that their communities are being rebuilt and in not too distant future, they should be relocated back to their respective communities,”

The registered number of Internally Displaced Persons in Gombe State is put at about 49 thousand and scattered in various communities of the state, because the State Government had made it clear that leaving them in camps would attract some forms of discrimination.

Their relocation to the communities brought additional support from the Gombe State Government’s in paying their rent.

However since December last year, the rent of almost all the IDPs has not been settled, coupled with other challenges of feeding, healthcare and others.

Ongoing Reconstruction

Consequently, the Federal Government says it is not unmindful of their situation, but that in the meantime, they should be comfortable wherever they may be settling, as the reconstruction of their communities was being carried out.

Although the distribution of the relief materials was for one hundred households, Alhaji Kari said it was a ceremonial event, which would be extended to all communities hosting the IDPs and for all IDPs.

 “This is programme that involves all the IDPs in all the states of the north east. You have the three Front Line States of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa, where the insurgency has really ravaged those communities there. Then you have the three other states, who are the host communities, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba. So this programme involves the whole six states of the north east,” said Alhaji Kari.

The Chairman of the IDPs in Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State is Alhaji Bulama Galadima Danboa said he would want to go back home in Damboa, Borno state, but he would have no where to stay, because his eight bedroom home had been destroyed over two years ago when he escaped with gunshot wounds in his body.

He is staying in Deba with his two wives, sixteen children and an aged mother.

Alhaji Galadima says he is thankful to President Muhammadu Buhari for stepping in to assist them, but still calls for more assistance in the area so that the over five hundred IDPs in Yamaltu Deba would all benefit.

He also called for more efforts in rebuilding their communities which were destroyed by the insurgents, saying “the reconstruction is good, but would want a situation where a percentage of the cost of reconstruction of a house would be given to the owner to rebuild by himself.”

“Some of us want to go back to farm, especially we from Damboa Local Government, but due to the insurgency that burnt our structures, we cannot go back to our farms this rainy season. So I pled with Mr. President to rebuild our area in time. Now we are getting better. Infact in Danboa we have over one hundred thousand people now in Danboa. So I plead with Mr. President to assist us in rebuilding our structures and we are very much happy with this assistance. Since there is a committee for construction and reconstruction, if the committee went to the area that they want to build for you, let them estimate. I myself, I have eight bedrooms in my house. When they go and make the estimate, if they give me one third of the money, I am going to build my house successfully. But some people are saying that, even if you have ten rooms they are going to build two rooms for you to manage,” said the Yamaltu Deba IDP Community Leader .  

For Mallam Adamu Kalabata, from Bulafa, Gulani Local Government Area of Yobe state, an IDP with two wives and fourteen children, he is happy with the relief materials, but would need more assistance for rent and other needs.

“Today is a very pleasant day for me, I am happy with what God has given us today. We thank the Federal Government and those who assisted us in getting this. This will assist us very well. The people of Kwadon receive us very well, though we pay our rent, no body to assist us. We feed ourselves, we our rent, until the Federal Government starts to assist us,” said Mallam Kalabata.

The Chairman of the IDPs in Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State, Alhaji Bulama Galadima Danboa, commended the assistance area, but said the issue of rent was still a serious challenge and would want Nigerians to come and assist them.

He commended the fight against insurgency by President Buhari, which he said the government was winning one hundred and ten per cent, because a recent visit to Damboa made him happy, as he saw that so many people had gone back.