Plight of a traumatised 4-year-old IDP who shouts ‘Boko Haram!’ whenever he sights a motorcycle

Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 11 June 2016 | 3,396 times

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Alkassim Muhammad is a 4-year-old who fled from Bama in Borno State to Kaduna State.

He is among 72 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) currently at a camp in Maraban Jos, along Kaduna-Zaria Road.

Little Muhammad gets traumatised, runs and hides crying by the mere sound or sight of a motorcycle. He shouts “Boko Haram! Boko Haram!! Boko Haram!!!” as a result of his traumatic experience while in captivity in Sambisa Forest. His traumatic situation was noticed by journalists when Comrade Garba Muhammad, Chairman of Kaduna Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in company of other journalists delivered a personal donation of food items to the camp’s primary school last week.

Hajiya Rabi Ibrahim Founder of ARRRIDA Relief Foundation Nigeria (ARFON), who established the children IDP camp and IDP primary school from houses she inherited from her late mother, said little Muhammad had been in captivity with Boko Haram terrorist in Sambisa Forest and had witnessed the slaughter of captives – children and adults for over eight months.

“Up till now his two sisters are still in Boko Haram captivity. His father died of heart attack when he got tired of running from Boko Haram during several attacks on their Bama community in Borno State,” she said.

She said among the 72 children of aged two to 10 years, most of them trekked through tick forest for six to seven days without food and water and had survived hunger and exhaustion by drinking each other’s urine before they were discovered and sent to her by Alhaji Ali Bama and Hajia Yakura Madu, her coordinators in Bama.

Hajia Rabi said: “Many of them were brought to the camp very sick and there is no week we don’t take them to Garden City Hospital, Kaduna for treatment of one ailment or the other. Just recently, our coordinators asked us to send N2,000 for transportation to Kaduna of a 10-year-old whose parents were killed in Bama and her extended family and relations have rejected her due to their severe poverty level.

“Our major challenge is lack of food and funds for the basic educational needs of these innocent kids. I can cater for 1,000 for three month if I have access to at least N1 million. I have ejected tenants in another house in Maraban Jos which I also inherited from my mother. They were generating over N1 million but I had to convert them to hostel for some IDPs who were sleeping in make shift tents under bridges in Maiduguri.”

While thanking the NUJ for their concern, Hajia Rabi called on government and Nigerians to inculcate the habit of visiting IDP camps to give sense of belonging to many traumatised IDPs and to appreciate what God has given to them.

Said she: “Even though I prefer children because I have only vacancy for nursery and primary school, I still cater for adults, youths and orphans especially those affected by past crisis in Kaduna State.

“We don’t call it orphanage or IDP camp, we call it children school where my own two little children also attend, sleep and eat in the same room and bowl with the IPD kids. My husband has been giving support and encouragement despite his critical health challenge and I remain very grateful to him.”

Comrade Muhammad, while presenting the food items, described Hajia Rabi as “a woman with big heart who needs the support and encouragement of everyone in providing care and intervention of IDPs.” He said attention should also be given to similar camps at Rigasa, Kauta village, Barakallahu, Gadan Gayan.

•Photo shows Kaduna NUJ Chairman, Comrade Garba Muhammad.

Source: News Express

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