Two million Nigerians trapped in Boko Haram-controlled areas – UN

FILE PHOTO: A cross-section of internally displaced persons in Gombe
FILE PHOTO: A cross-section of internally displaced persons in Gombe

About 2 million people are trapped in Nigeria’s North-Eastern areas still controlled by Boko Haram, and are facing serious humanitarian conditions, the United Nations has said.

This was disclosed Friday in Geneva, Switzerland, by UNICEF’s Chief of Nutrition in Nigeria, Arjan de Wagt, during a press briefing by the UN Information Service.

According to Mr. Wagt who spoke on telephone from Abuja, about 2 million people are still in areas which are inaccessible because of the security situation.

The 2 million people are in Borno State alone, he said.

Regarding Bama, he said there’s only access to the town of Bama and the IDP camp there, but not the other parts of the town.

He said the situation of the people trapped in Boko Haram-held areas was unknown, but that sometimes UNICEF managed to get a glimpse when IDPs from those areas came to more accessible areas.

UNICEF could then check their nutrition and health status, which was bad, he added.

Military success has helped to make more areas in the North East accessible for humanitarian assistance.

“Before April 2016, there was no access to most areas in Borno State because of the security situation,” he said.

But since April, access has progressively become possible to some of the other areas, he noted.

He however lamented that “In the newly-accessible areas, the levels of suffering and of malnutrition are very high.  In some of those areas, there’s a severe acute malnutrition rate of 12 per cent, which is a level rarely seen.  It is of a severity similar to that seen during the Horn of Africa crisis in 2011, in Somalia”.

Children face acute malnutrition

Mr. Wagt raised alarm over looming humanitarian disaster in the North East.

He said in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, there were 400,000 children “with severe acute malnutrition, and in Borno alone, 244,000 children are affected”.

He said it was the “worst level of malnutrition possible”, and the children were on “the brink of death”.

About one in five of those children were likely to die if they were not reached in time with specialized therapeutic foods, he warned.

He added that, if nothing was done, about 49,000 of the 244,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Borno State would die over the coming 12 months, translating to about 134 every day.

“Some 65,000 people are in famine-like conditions, the worst level of food insecurity, and facing starving to death for lack of food.  It is a very unique situation in the world,” he said.

Addressing the problem

To address the situation, Mr. Wagt said, resources in financial human and organizational terms were needed.

“All partners – Governments, the UN, NGOs and the private sector and individuals had to work together to provide the support that was needed.”

He added that all people in accessible areas needed to be reached, and food aid needed to be brought to them.

“For the youngest children as well as pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, specialized, therapeutic, high nutrient food is required.  If this is not addressed, more and more children would develop severe acute malnutrition,” he said.

He said UNICEF was supporting a nutrition programme and had recruited 1,500 community mobilizers going from house to house, from shelter to shelter, so that severely malnourished children could be linked to the health services so they could get treatment.

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  • vagabonds in power

    . For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. President, Nigeria & Nigerians have changed. We have changed:

    – From being the largest economy in Africa;

    – From having an average 6% GDP growth per annum over the last 5years to a recession GDP of -2.38% in your first year in office;

    – To a country where 4.58million people have lost their jobs in 16 months of your leadership;

    – To a country where inflation has risen to 17.1% from the 9.6% that your admin inherited;

    – To a country with the worst performing currency in Africa & third worst in the world;

    – To a country where non-oil exports have fallen by 43.2% ;

    – To a country on the brink of what most western media calls the worst food crises ever seen happening in the North Eastern part of the country;

    – To a country where its citizens are increasingly unable to afford food and other basics (a bag of rice has gone from N9000 to N20, 000) & where hunger now reigns supreme, etc.

    MR. PRESIDENT, CHANGE BEGINS WITH YOU

    • Obsever

      Those are not the only things that have changed. You left one out – Striving for Excellence has changed too. Only last month just after the release of WAEC results, there was an inter-religious and inter denominational thanksgiving service organized by the parents of those who failed the exams. They had gathered to give thanks to God and party because they were sure that amongst their wards would be a Nigerian president going by the prevailing standards for ascension to presidency – Brainlessness, dunce brain, copy cat plagiarism, amnesia and and all those qualities associated with low IQ persons.

      • IZON Redeemer

        Those Nigerians who helped to push Buhari into Aso Rock via the CIA were Nigerians with first Class Brains——-including the ones with forged certificate like the Yoruba people led by Tinubu——-The only thing that made them push Jonathan out was their allegiance to the old regions that they hail from–in Mali and Nigeria————that Lord Lugard dragged them from Sudan and Togo into——-Freedom is our goal————-in the Niger delta————-

  • Wollex

    Excuse me sir. My father sent me sms this morning. He was advising me against examination malpractice
    on campus. He said I must avoid anything to do with fraud. He also said he does not want what happened
    to President Muhamadu Buhari to happen to me in my own life. He said I should go to Premium Times and
    read how President Buhari and his aides have plagiarized the President of United States of America’s own
    president, Barack Obama’s speech. I did not believe that any country’s president can have such low life
    to do such a thing. But I had soc 204 lecture today and the lecture did not end until 3.30 pm. I riushed to
    Premium Times to read about BUHARI’s plagiarism of Barack Obama’s speech. But I did not see it here.
    What happened, please? Have you been arrested for telling the truth again or why is the news not here?

  • BIAFRAN

    The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday said that with the population of over 70 million people and a total area of over 29,400 square miles, Biafra was big enough to be a sovereign nation. IPOB said there are nations that are significantly smaller than the area both in size and in population, adding that Biafra is almost as big as Gambia and Sierra Leone put together, and is bigger than Togo or Rwanda and Burundi combined, and is four times the size of the Republic of Israel. Apparently reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent call on Nigerian youth corps members to tell their brothers to forget about Biafra because according to him, Nigeria is big enough to accommodate all and sundry, IPOB’s spokespersons, Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya contended that they do not need Buhari to lecture them on the resources in Biafra land because they are already aware of them.

    According to the statement, “For us in Biafra, we cherish and give the greatest priority to human resource, unlike Nigeria which operates a rentier economy with heavy dependence on Biafran oil and gas resources, adding, the excuse that Nigeria is big enough and therefore Biafrans are bound by the sheer size of Nigeria to be part of it, is not logical”.

    “The right to self-determination is not synonymous with war or violence. Buhari should therefore, not juxtapose self-determination with war because the two are not interchangeable. The least he can do is to use the instrument of Referendum to test the resolve of Biafrans in their quest for the restoration of the nation of Biafra. We will also like to remind Buhari that the sovereignty of a nation is not premised on size”. – Vanguar.dngr (Sep 17)

    • St

      After u shout for Biafra finish, u go by yourself rest

      • Babrutus

        Before he rests, he will drink shekpe

    • vagabonds in power

      The Population of Kuwait is less than One Million———————-that of the Ijaw Nation nation is over 45m————-let my people go biko–So that they can serve the Living God in the Creeks of the Niger Delta—Any Ijaw man or woman who works for the Apes in APC must be fished out and killed—For freedom is our goal—enough is enough of the Satanic Fulani ati Yoruba rule——————–every Fulani boko haram fighter have been released by the Buhari Fulani led government

    • emmanuel

      All we want in Niger Delta is a separate and brand new country. Our own separate country of Niger Delta oily Republic. This is what we are destined to achieve by all means necessary. It was wrong from the outset for useless Britain to amalgamate several countries into a useless Nigeria where any idiort can become president on the basis of religious or ethic affinity.

      • Babrutus

        Useless Britain, useless Nigeria, useless comment

      • Tiger News

        I hope your Niger Delta does not include any thing Igbo in it, its brothers and sisters, lands, air, waters, sea?

  • vagabonds in power

    Sequel to the current recession in the country and the consequent rising cost of food stuff, many families have been forced to turn to leaves in order to survive

    According to a source close to the Nigerian Pilot on Saturday, said leaves such as “tafasa”, spinach, etc had come to the rescue of most families in Kaduna and its environs, while lizards and cats might be endangered as some children were seen hunting them to provide a cheap source of protein for the impoverished families.

    A resident of the state,Malam Bukar Shaibu said it was sad that even the rich around Kawo,Unguwan Dosa, Hayin Banki and Unguwan Kanawa, and others areas of the state are helpless in assisting the less privilege in the society, adding that they had the capability to assist the poor amongst them but were not living up the masses expectation as the harsh economic recession is also biting hard on them too.

    “Some of them have gone on Hajj for the umpteenth time, while the money can be used to buy food and feed many mouths. Hajj is incumbent upon a Muslim, once,” he said.

    According to him, “rice and maize have turned into precious commodities which only the rich and privileged ones can afford ,many of our people now feed on leaves, some cannot even cook the normal ‘pate’, they are seriously feeling the pang of an excruciating poverty. We pray the government will come to the people’s rescue by establishing free feeding centers .”

    “The other times, I saw some children chasing a big agama lizard, they said when roasted, the meat look sweet, even cats,dogs are no longer spared,” he said–Yes una vote for Buhari change—-so CIA help una put mumu Bingo Buhari for aso rock———–Separation is the only way out of the ongoing economic mess-

  • emmanuel

    …all we want in Niger Delta is a separate and brand new country. Our own separate country of Niger Delta oily Republic. This is what we are destined to achieve by all means necessary. It was wrong from the outset for useless Britain to amalgamate several countries into a useless Nigeria where any idiort can become president on the basis of religious or ethic affinity.

    • IZON Redeemer

      Sadly the British Advised the People of the South South not to make the Mistake of joining Nigeria—to fight for freedom-in 1960-we foolishly refused to heed their pleas to us—–at the London Constitutional Confab——See what has become of our resources-in the SS?-Now under the control of the Fulanis–Yorubas and their Ibo errand boys in APC—-Ijaws among others from the SS are being intimidated and locked up in the Gulag of Buhari by Efcc and DSS without an iota of regret————–AS A matter of fact any Nigerian who is able to make it possible for an Ijaw man or woman to be framed up and arrested is compensated by the Fulanis–Ibos and Yorubas—in Aso rock—Every house owned by former oil Minister Mrs Madueke in Abuja has been seized by Buhari—-and his Fulani gestapo—————————–there are more Ijaws in the gulag of Buhari than any can think of—-through the work of the Itsekiris and Urhobos–agents in delta state———-Yet the Ijaws are refusing to get the message—that they are not wanted in Nigeria–Freedom is our goal–regardless

      • Chukwuka Okoroafor

        And I wonder how a Niger-Delta Republic would work now that you are blaming the Itsekiri and Urhobo for what is happening. Will they not be part of this proposed rump state and failed state in the making?

        • IZON Redeemer

          Did the Ijaw Nation say they wanted the Itsekiri traitors– and the Urhobo wayos to be part of the Ijaw Nation-in the Niger delta republic–? The Itsekiris claim they are from Ife–now they tell the Yorubas who helped them fight Ijaws in Warri that—they are from Edo state—Some of these major ethnic groups do not even know where they hail from or how they got into Nigeria in the first place—That is why the Ijaws do not want any of these fake tribes to destroy their roots—————-

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            So you will do ethnic cleansing, is this the new Niger-Delta Republic you want? Because that is what I see in your statement. So how would you be different from what you say the North, SW, and some in the SE are doing?

    • Babrutus

      My dear, are you sure of what you are saying? If you are sure, say Yes 10 times.

      • separation is the answer-

        Freedom is our goal with no strings attached to any ethnic group–Yes the 3 major groups will never want the SS go—they will continue to intimidate them————–but we shall over come at the end of the day-

        • Babrutus

          You wan open a other church wen go still dey answer Overcomers?

  • Martins

    I thought the President said no part of Nigeria is still under Boko Haram control? Even Lai Muhammed said they have been defeated. How come we still have 2million people in areas controlled by the same section? When exactly will this administration stop propaganda?

    • Fatty Grace

      So u still believe these fulanis abi

  • CousinBrother

    If UNICEF needs access to any part of the North East, they should contact Lair Mohammed, APC’s chief propagandist. Technically, he should be able to facilitate easy access

    • musa aliyu

      No. You’ve forgotten. They should contact Jonadu,b, or Sambo Dasuki who exacerbated the crisis simply because of 2015 elections which they lost. LOL

  • vagabonds in power

    For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. President, Nigeria & Nigerians have changed. We have changed:

    – From being the largest economy in Africa;

    – From having an average 6% GDP growth per annum over the last 5years to a recession GDP of -2.38% in your first year in office;

    – To a country where 4.58million people have lost their jobs in 16 months of your leadership;

    – To a country where inflation has risen to 17.1% from the 9.6% that your admin inherited;

    – To a country with the worst performing currency in Africa & third worst in the world;

    – To a country where non-oil exports have fallen by 43.2% ;

    – To a country on the brink of what most western media calls the worst food crises ever seen happening in the North Eastern part of the country;

    – To a country where its citizens are increasingly unable to afford food and other basics (a bag of rice has gone from N9000 to N20, 000) & where hunger now reigns supreme, etc.

    MR. PRESIDENT, CHANGE BEGINS WITH YOU

    5. Mr. President, you need to realize that change begins with you. Indeed, change will come when you begin to fulfil the 81 promises you made during your campaign.

    6. Again, for the avoidance of doubt and in the event that you may have forgotten, these promises include:

  • Musa M. Dantsoho

    “The 2 million people are in Borno State alone, he said.”
    What is Borno State’s population? If 2million trapped there, may we know the number of Local Government Areas involved. Because Sambisa forest does not have such population. Could this part of the usual propaganda concocted by the wailers?