IDPs take to businesses, no longer eager to go home

Yola IDPs

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 capital.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the desire to remain in Maiduguri was more with IDPs that had taken to some trade.

Kabir Musa, from Bama, said that he had found a better life in Maiduguri with his cap-knitting business and was no longer wishing to go home.

Mr. Musa said that he made at least N20,000 per week from the knitting business.

Another IDP also from Bama, Ba’ana Ali, said 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 Akara and we are comfortable here,” he said.

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, Goni Zarami, an IDP from Baga, who expressed a different view, said that he was eager to return home to continue his fishing business.

Mr. Zarami decried the continued closure of the Baga road, and said that it had negatively affected the buoyant fishing and socio-economic activities of the state.

“It is hard to believe that Baga used to be a lively trading centre of 200,000 people, where merchants travel to sell cattle, leather goods and trade fresh produce.

“Borno state was one of the largest producers of fish in Africa because its fishermen get fish from Niger, Chad, Cameroon and some other countries.

“Before the insurgency, more than 300 lorry-loads of fish are transported to Maiduguri and other parts of the country every two weeks, but now, no single truck comes from Baga.

“Borno gets its fish from Damboa Dam, Aloa Dam, River Yobe, others from Chad Republic and there is no access road leading to these places anymore,’’ Mr. Zarami said.

He, therefore, urged the government to reconsider reopening of the roads since normalcy had returned to the area.


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