Displaced Lives Matter Too!

The Nigerian army says it has rescued more than 5,000 people, who were being held hostage by Boko Haram, following a clearing operation in four remote villages in the northeastern Borno state. “Our troops have decisively dealt with the Boko Haram terrorists, particularly hibernating in Sambisa forest, which used to be their stronghold,” Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, an army spokesman reported. Since February 2015, Nigerians have received many of these kinds of reports concerning rescued hostages from Boko Haram in the northeast.

This is actually a success story and we are glad that the military is winning the war against the deadly terrorist group. We commend them for a job well done, and appreciate them for the great work that they are doing to protect us.

The well-being of these hostages is as important as the rescue, but unfortunately, it is not an issue to those in positions of authority. If every life really matters, then refugees wouldn’t be left to die of hunger and starvation! Do we only rescue them so that they can die in IDPs (Internally displaced persons) camps?

For instance, in the past month, nearly 200 refugees, who fled Boko Haram attacks, have died of starvation and dehydration in the northeastern Nigerian city of Bama, Doctors Without Borders said on Wednesday.

The refugees “speak of children dying of hunger and digging new graves every day,”

according to a statement from the global medical charity group, also known by its French acronym, MSF. “A catastrophic humanitarian emergency” is unfolding at a makeshift camp on a hospital compound where 24,000 people have taken refuge, it said.

The doctors referred 16 emaciated children, who are at risk of dying, to their special feeding centre in Maiduguri. One in five of the 15,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, the group found. “We see the trauma on the faces of our patients who have witnessed and survived many horrors,” said Ghada Hatim, head of the Doctors Without Borders mission in Nigeria. Her team reached Bama on Tuesday following a military convoy from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital that is the headquarters of Nigeria’s military campaign.

The money allocated and the foreign aid received for these displaced persons “may” have been misused for personal gains. Those in charge of the rehabilitation and upkeep of the IDPs should come out and clear their names, and be accountable for every penny allocated for this course.

Oshodi Ebenezer
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