Violence displaces 309,755 in North-Central, North-West

Posted by Gboyega Akinsanmi | 1 September 2019 | 802 times

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•Displaced Nigerians in an IDP Camp

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has disclosed that farmers-herdsmen clashes and activities of armed bandits have displaced no fewer than 309,755 persons in eight states in North-central and North-west Nigeria.

IOM, the world’s leading intergovernmental organisation in the field of migration, claimed that 54 percent of displaced individuals were female; 46 percent were male and 59 percent were children from 54,939 households across the affected states.

The organisation revealed the figure in a damning report it released on the humanitarian crises triggered by banditry, communal conflict and farmer-herdsmen clashes in eight states in North-central and North-west.

In its 18-page report, the IOM claimed that it had identified 309,755 displaced persons or 54,939 households across the eight states covered in North-central and North-west Nigeria.

According to the report, 54 percent of the displaced persons reside in North-central while 46 per cent were displaced in North-west. The majority (54 percent) of displaced individuals were female, while 46 per cent were male.

Apart from its grave impact on women, the report claimed that the majority (59 percent) of displaced persons were children, noting that displaced households were, on average, composed of five members.

In North-central, for instance, the report said Benue “hosts the largest number of displaced individuals (81,132, or 26 persons of the displaced persons among the eight states affected by the crisis

“Guma Local Government (LGA), which accommodates most of the displaced persons. Located in Benue state, Guma alone hosts 48,558 IDPs (17 percent of IDPs). Displacement in Benue state chiefly results from herdsmen-farmers clashes.”

The report, also, observed that a number of displaced persons had relocated “to Benue from Nasarawa State. Plateau hosts 14,521 IDPs (5 percent of total IDPs).

“This population was displaced following hostilities between herdsmen and farmers as well as communal clashes between religious communities. A vast majority of IDPs in the state (12,840 or 88 percent) reside in Barikin Ladi LGA.”

In Nasarawa State, also, the report claimed that communal clashes “have led to the displacement of thousands of people. Nasarawa also experienced an inflow of IDPs from Benue state.

“It currently hosts 19,748 IDPs, representing 6 per cent of total IDPs in North Central and North West. Over half of IDPs (10,490) in the state reside in Awe LGA while 9,258 IDPs live in Keana LGA.

“Many displaced persons in Nasarawa cannot return home- herders who had attacked villages and triggered the displacement of their inhabitants allegedly either burned down the homes or took over the property and land.

“As a result, some IDPs in Nasarawa, prevented from going back home, have taken to move to other states in search of durable accommodation.”

In North-west, the report said displacement in Zamfara, the state hosting the second largest displaced population (72,161 individuals, 15,831 households, represented 23 percent in the two geo-political zones.

It noted that the displacement “is a result of violent crimes and banditry in the state, and in particular the kidnapping of travellers along major highways; attacks by herders on villages, during which herders steal or seize property and burn down villagers’ homes; theft and robberies; and killings.

“Villagers in Zamfara are also victim of cattle rustling, whereby bandits raid villages to steal cattle by force; villagers who refuse to comply are often killed. Anka LGA, recorded the highest number of IDPs (32,520 or 45 percent of IDPs), followed by Maru LGA (11,927 or 17 percent of IDPs).”

The report added that 59,621 individuals (19 percent of total IDPs) “are currently displaced in Katsina, the third-most affected state in the two regions.

“Attacks and subsequent displacement, which began in December 2018, progressively increased in intensity and frequency, peaking in April and May 2019, with attacks lately being carried out on a daily basis.

“These attacks generate significant displacement and are expected to continue in the future. Kankara (which hosts 8,572 IDPs) is the most-affected LGA in the state.

“Katsina state is particularly affected by banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and herder attacks, during which often victims are killed and their homes set on fire.”

It observed that Sokoto had about 36,153, or 12 percent of total IDPs) and Kano 12,933 IDPs, or 4 percent of total IDPs), which according to the report, are primarily receiving states they host individuals displaced by the insurgency and communal clashes in the North East.

The report explained that communal clashes between religious communities “have displaced 13,486 individuals, or 4 per cent of IDPs, in Kaduna state.

“The state has a long history displacement related to religious tensions. Kaduna also hosts IDPs from the North East, in particular individuals displaced by the insurgency and communal clashes affecting that region.”

The report showed that displacement was not localised, but crossed borders of local government areas. In 60 per cent of wards assessed, IDPs came from a different LGA, while the other 4 per cent were within wards of origin.

The states hosting the largest numbers of IDPs are Benue state (81,132 individuals), Zamfara state (72,161) and Katsina state (59,621). (THISDAY)

Source: News Express

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