•Troops establish school in Bama IDP camp •IDPs take to businesses, no longer eager to go home
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has said it has discovered no fewer than 40 fake non-governmental organisations (NGOs) currently feeding fat on the plights of Internally Displasced Persons (IDPs) in Borno State.
Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Commandant of the NSCDC in the state, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri, the state capital, on Sunday.
Abdullahi said the illegal NGOs were running nothing more than a certified scam by their actions.
“We discovered that many of them were only interested in posing with IDPs going through hardship to access funds from donors.
“We discovered that some of them, currently occupying most of the big hotels in town, are only interested in defrauding their donors by sending fake data, messages and pictures via internet so as to access fund.
“When we interrogated some of them, they said they just came into the town and were trying to figure out the problems to enable them to bring in their intervention.
“The command, therefore, urged the government to be wary of such elements parading themselves as NGOs, while the agency will go after all the bad elements,” said Abdullahi.
Meanwhile, to further assist the internally displaced persons and enhance civil-military relations, troops of 21 Brigade, 7 Division Nigerian Army, have established a temporary school for the children at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp located in Bama town, Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, using military tents.
The school comprised six military tents in which soldiers, not on essential duty, served as teachers. In addition, some of the IDPs who were teachers before their displacement, also teach in the school.
Presently, the school has a population of over 3,000 children. The Brigade has also established a section of adult education for women.
Impressed with the laudable initiative, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) also assisted the Brigade with two additional tents and school bags for the pupils, while Borno State Urban Education deployed a principal to assist in the running of the school.
The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Mr Toby Lanzer, and Borno State government celebrated the recently-held World Humanitarian Day with the IDPs in the school and commended the efforts of the Nigerian Army for establishing the school.
Similarly, an American non-governmental organisation (NGO), Empower54, was equally impressed with the fact that “despite the heavy responsibility of fighting off the terrorists daily, the soldiers are making time to teach the children.” It appreciated the soldiers of 21 Brigade for their selfless effort by establishing the school.
Also, some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri, on Sunday, expressed unwillingness to return to their communities, saying they had found greener pastures in the Borno State capital.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the desire to remain in Maiduguri was more with IDPs that had taken to some trades.
Mallam Kabir Musa, from Bama, said he had found a better life in Maiduguri with his cap-knitting business and was no longer wishing to go home.
Musa said he made at least N20,000 per week from the knitting business.
Another IDP, also from Bama, Ba’ana Ali, told NAN that there was nothing for him to do in the village.
“We have found a better source of income, better than farming; I have nothing to go back and do in Bama.
“I have made caps worth about N400,000; I have many customers who usually come to town to buy in large quantity.
“I have already rented an apartment where I and my family are now living. My wife is now selling Ankara and we are comfortable here,” he said.
Mr Alfred Sunday, a retiree from Gwoza, said he lost everything he had worked for to the Boko Haram insurgency.
“I invested my benefits on agriculture and a pure water production industry, but I have lost all to the Boko Haram.
“I am now living with my son in-law in the city and I do not want to go back to Gwoza, because I don’t even know where to start from,” he said.
However, Mallam Goni Zarami, an IDP from Baga, who expressed a different view, said he was eager to return home to continue his fishing business.