‘B’Haram displaced 800,000, burnt 254 schools’

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Over 800,000 people have been displaced while 254 schools have been destroyed as a result of the activities of insurgents in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, the National Emergency Management Agency has said.

According to the agency, a total of 120,077 students were out of school as at the end of 2014 due to insurgency in the three states, adding that the Safe School Initiative of the Federal Government was initiated to absorb the students in schools outside the troubled states.

The agency’s Principal Relief Officer, Mr. Awal Abubakar, said 276 schools had been affected by the deadly activities of the Islamic extremists, Boko Haram.

Abubakar, while making a presentation to officials from the United States Agency for International Development at the headquarters of NEMA in Abuja on Tuesday, said 73 schools were affected in Adamawa, 171 in Borno and 56 in Yobe.

On the actual number of students affected in the various states, he said, “Seven thousand one hundred and thirty-five school children have been out of school as a result of insurgency in Adamawa; 113,635 in Borno and 73,894 in Yobe.

“115 schools have been completely destroyed and the largest number of destroyed schools is in Borno, which is 101 schools. 139 other schools have been partially destroyed.”

He noted that the figures covered the period that the insurgency started in 2009 till the end of last year. He explained that the total number of internally displaced persons across the country as of January 2015 was 873,703.

Awal also observed that the health sector was badly hit by the insurgency, but explained that the Federal Government had ensured that there was adequate provision of relief materials for IDPs across various camps in the affected states.

In his address, the Director-General, NEMA, Mr. Sani Sidi, said some non-governmental organisations operating in the country were complicating the figures of displaced persons in Nigeria.

He said the NGOs inflate the figures in order to get funding from international organisations such as USAID, adding that such “fraudulent figures” should be discarded forthwith.

Gesturing towards the visiting foreign officials, Sidi said, “Of course, there are gaps, but we are working hard to bridge these gaps. The NGOs know that if they don’t make the figures large, they won’t get funding from organisations like yours (USAID).”

He specifically faulted the report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, stressing that their “report of three million IDPs in Nigeria is a huge fraud and completely untrue.”

Sidi said, “We are happy that the International Organisation for Migration came to Nigeria to conduct a similar findings and our figures have been verified by the IOM because ours and theirs (figures) are quite similar.

“Meanwhile, how can the IDMC put together IDPs figure for 10 years? We are going to challenge that because it is completely untrue.”

Written For http://www.globalruns.com

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