US, UK, American University deliver relief materials to Adamawa displaced persons

The Government of the United States has pledged continued humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons in Adamawa state.

The Mission Director of the US Agency for International Development, USAID, in Nigeria, Michael Harvey, gave the pledge during a tour of IDPs camps and assessment visits to community-based organizations sheltering the estimated 400,000 refugees who fled insurgency attacks in the northern parts of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states, to Yola.

While only a few thousands of the IDPs are staying in government-designated camps like the NYSC camp in Damare, administered by the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, the majority prefer to stay with relatives and family members, and in many cases, stretching the resources of their hosts.

Speaking to journalists after meeting with members of the Adamawa Peace Initiative and local community leaders at the American University of Nigeria, Mr. Harvey said USAID will assist in sanitation programs, food and relief aids, and education of the IDPs.

He noted, however, that the international community can only be part of, not the solution, to the mass displacement crisis facing the state.

“I am hoping to see Adamawa State and the Federal Government provide more direct assistance to these people; the majority of whom are living with friends and family,” he said.

The President of American University of Nigeria, AUN, Margee Ensign, who chairs the Adamawa Peace Initiative, API, the mainstream peace-building organization in the state comprising local community, religious and business leaders, accompanied Mr. Harvey who was also joined by Mr. Robert Watt, the Northern Nigeria representative of the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The team visited the Yola headquarters of the Adamawa Muslim Council where 3,493 displaced persons are taking shelter, the Bole community where families have taken in 801 IDPs, the St. Teresa’s Catholic Cathedral in Jimeta with 29,106 IDPs, and the National Youth Service Camp, Damare, which harbors close to 8000.

API member and Secretary of the Muslim Council, Dauda Bello, welcomed the visiting humanitarian team with other leaders and thanked them for their assistance and solidarity.

Mr. Dauda said membership of the Council comprises Muslim elders who are only interested in maintaining peace in Nigeria’s northeast and condemned terrorism.

He said, “Islam does not preach violence but the message of peace. This war is not a religious war; the actions of these terrorists are against the Holy Quran”.

The Council’s Public Relations Officer, Saidu Bobboi, suggested that the IDPs’ most immediate needs, including mobile education and medical care, should get priority attention.

The Coordinator of the Emergency Relief Distribution Committee of the Muslim Council, Salihi Atiku, told the team that insurgency knows no religion, race or sex.

“Everybody is a victim,” he said.

He also noted that about 37,000 people have been displaced and some of them have had to endure snake bites, trek through bush paths and feed on raw corn for four days trying to find safety.

Mr. Atiku urged the visiting team to understand the victims and build trust in them so that they will return home someday.

Following the sad stories emanating from the camps, Mrs. Ensign reassured the refugees that the American University of Nigeria, with the support of the US Government, would continue to provide succour to them.

She urged the community to stay united and announced that the items for distribution were from the US Government.

Mr. Harvey told the Muslim Council elders, “There are lots of bad stories coming out of Nigeria, but Yola has a good story to tell, one in which businesses, mosques and churches are coming together to take care of the people in need.”

He advised them to teach community youths how to sieve information gathered from the “internet, radio, and television.”

He also assured that USAID would stay engaged in supporting the people of Adamawa State who are internally displaced but advised the people to share their succor amongst themselves so that everyone benefits.

The USAID team also visited the Bole community where the Chief of Bole, Abdulmumin Abubakar, thanked the AUN and the API, for being supportive since the beginning of the year by giving the IDPs seed crops to plant.

He added that some of the IDPs were now members of the community as they owned farmlands. He also thanked the US Government for its benevolent support to the IDPs.

While at St Teresa’s Catholic Church, Jimeta, Mr. Harvey assured the people that the US will render necessary support services to manage the crisis.

The team was received by the Catholic Bishop of Yola and API member, Stephen Mamza, a Bishop, and applauded by thousands of mostly women and children refugees inside the Church building.

Speaking during the visit, Mrs. Ensign spoke in a similar vein: “We share your suffering, we share your pain, and we will make sure we do our best to support you.” The team later inspected the medical facility in the Church premises where Mr. Harvey promised assistance.

On Saturday, the AUN President led staff and alumni of the institution and API members to distribute relief materials, including sanitation materials donated by alumni of the university, to the 17,290 IDPs sheltering at the Jimeta headquarters of visited Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI.

So far, over 205,000 IDPs have benefitted from the extensive humanitarian support from the American University of Nigeria and API, since March when the team made donations to refugees at the palace of the emir of Mubi.

This figure said includes 99 staff families, whose burden of harbouring displaced relatives has been shared by the University, the latter distributing relief items, including food, blankets, soap and other items, to help them alleviate their burden.


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  • Kofi Mensah

    So help us God. Amen

  • Piercing_Truth

    Mrs Adeosun, you are asking us the citizenry to adjust to current realities but it seems you are behind because you have failed to notice how Nigerians have already adjusted since over one year ago. However, how could this situation be a fair one, when Mr. President still seek foreign medical services abroad and makes payment for those services in foreign currencies? Mr President’s Children have access to foreign exchange for Payment of School fees and yet ordinary Nigerians cannot do the same. Mr. Senate president just recently bought some Vintage Cars (he sure got taste) and yet we have Innoson and many other assembled in Nigeria Cars? The choice is yours to make , Mrs Adeosun and not ours. You the ruling Class need to decide if you want to continue to Plunder our country in misery or uplift our country to better heights! Which ever direction you take, its your responsibility. Mrs, Adesosun, you can only be talking about infrastructure and self reliance when we have home grown technology to make machines, parts of machines, that are required to set up industries and develop infrastructures. In any case we dont and we are not going to be a technologically advanced country in another 50 years. It just dont happen over night. It requires careful, deliberate and sincere planning to achieve such feat along many generations.

    • hyperbole123

      the ball is in their court o. dont mind them they are still deceiving people

  • Sanmi Falae

    Brilliant VISION and MISSION statement. I like the reference to Iran. The thinking behind American-led smart sanctions against Iran was to reduce the country to Zimbabwe, but smart Iranian leaders ensured it had the opposite effect. It actually made Iran tax-collection–efficient, perhaps following up from boosting their private sector. We have to concentrate on national economic activities that give us total control of our economic destiny, unlike the Oil Industry. But Mrs Adeosun, I think what SUSTAINABLY and ultimately puts us behind the driving seat of our national destiny in Nigeria is education; and I don’t mean more of the same THIN GRUEL we have been feeding ourselves since European and American colonisation. Many thanks for this and looking forward to the next instalments. Good luck on the job.

  • Lawrence Efana

    A
    good strategic approach to raising hope in the face of some of the
    unwarranted upsurge of confusion and misunderstanding. The debate is at a
    point in which if the administration openly announces policy plans, the
    adversarial instincts might consume and obstruct. Working hard behind
    the scene and doing so relatively honestly, to in the end reduce
    sufferings and mistrust, and give people hope is a promising step.
    Democracy improves partly by criticism or skepticism. It is healthy, but
    to be destructive and adversarial mimic ill-wind and as we know that
    blows nobody good! Keep being courageous in building the hope and not
    only with words but also visible actions. God bless Nigeria!

    • Aplus

      I love that… keep it up sir!

  • Jujil

    Good article and I look forward to your subsequent articles. But I really wonder what the role of youth are the in Nigeria. We all know that youth and not oil are the wealth of Nigeria’s future. The workforce of every society is dependent of her youth. 70% of the population are young people (meaning the development of Nigeria is dependent on her youth) but here we have an economy that excludes the youth at every level – from policy to implementation. Even the minister of youth is more than half a century away from being a youth. Homestly, I do not see any economic breakthrough in this country as long as we consciously exclude the youth or reduce them to mere farmers. Part of the adjustment for me will be investment in youth development and the conscious steps towards value reorientation and youth empowerment. We need to also begin to involve young people in every aspect of our national life as well as in making policies/decisions that affect them as well. Until we begin to look towards this direction, Nigeria will continue to struggle. I hope you will attempt to address this in your next article Mrs Kemi.

  • Femi Odere

    Brilliant piece. One can see the honesty of purpose in the content. This government shall not fail.

  • Gugurus Ekpa

    Kemi,

    Thank you for this article. I enjoyed reading the article. However, I think it is important to point to the weakness of your article. I do this because I think as Minister for Finance that your thoughts ought to be clearly articulated both in your mind and on paper, before you present them to the public. Please, read my constructive criticism with care and without prejudice as you will find nuggets of helpful information in them.

    First, your article lacks a clearly defined purpose, lacks a clear audience, and lacks focus. The article appears more like an advocacy piece aimed at numbing a supposed interested audience into some sort of psychological submission into whatever you believe the article was intended to achieve. Your article, while exuding little or no confidence, also reflects the extent of your limited understanding and conceptualization of the Nigerian economy.

    For example, you stated, “That change has started with the vital offensive against corruption, which has had a huge and adverse effect on our economy.” Contrary to your pessimistic assessment, fighting corruption has not had a huge adverse effect on the Nigerian economy. Instead, the fight against corruption has had the effect of exposing weaknesses in the Nigerian economy, so that such weaknesses present opportunities for both the private and public sector to achieve a deepening of economic development in Nigeria. I am surprised and completely miffed by your less than optimistic view on the effects of fighting corruption in Nigeria. This concern noted about your article is one reason why i pointed to the issue of purpose, audience, and focus with respect to the entire article.

    You also wrongly stated that, “At the lower levels, the waste, inefficiency and culture of
    non-performance have, like a financial cancer, eaten away at our core
    institutions.” The waste and inefficiencies associated with Nigerian institutions are simply symptoms of a more malignant problem with the Nigerian state. The misalignment between the political and economic systems of Nigeria are directly responsible for the weakened and ineffectual institutions that pervade the Nigerian system. The waste, inefficiency and culture of
    non-performance, are simply unwanted but ever-present symptoms of a system that not in equilibrium. And, you are also incorrect to assert that the waste, inefficiency and culture of
    non-performance can be found exclusively at the lower levels. Waste, inefficiency and culture of
    non-performance can be found at all levels of Nigerian institutions. To absolve those at the highest levels of this problem smacks of an attempt on your path to protect a plutocracy largely responsible for the economic filth and rot that has come to define the Nigerian economic system.

    You also discussed investing in infrastructure such as power and transportation and in the same breathe, you mentioned how other governments have had to be creative with solving problems before them. You gave no indication of how the power and transportation issue would be addressed—–government only, or private sector only, or public-private partnerships? You were vague with your response in this section of your article.

    Finally, you presented six interesting rhetorical questions that are unlikely to generate any meaningful responses from any informed entities in Nigeria. So, why ask questions whose purpose remains questionable?

    Time has made it impossible for me to delve deeper into the flaws in the logic and semantics of your write up. Nonetheless, I hope you will take some time to think about the issues i have raised so that you may begin the process of thinking differently about Nigeria and its many unresolved problems. I commend you for taking a most difficult job at a time of dwindling resources, economic insecurity, and social upheaval.

    • A.I

      Irrelevant response as a result of “i must talk syndrome”.

      • Gugurus Ekpa

        Shut up.

    • Aplus

      You clearly made soe points and I am sure the Hom Minister will do well to do some adjustment as needful. However, I must also point out to you that in writing such as yours, some space should also be given to telling us what is right about the article. Or is it that there is nothing good in it? We have been clamouring to see the policy direction of this change govt and I believe her write up is a step in the right direction which is aimed at letting the public know more about their government. Its most unprecedented to say the least and I believe it deserves some commendation. Thanks.

      • Gugurus Ekpa

        Aplus,

        I thanked her for her article because i thought it was relevant. Kemi knows the good parts of her article and so it is futile wasting time belaboring the obvious. My goal was not to pamper her emotions but to hold her responsible for her communication to the nation in the same way she intends to hold Nigerians financially responsible for the state of the economy.

        • Aplus

          I get ur point. Moving forward, I guess we are on the right track with this government. At least, for now!

    • Elewah

      Guguru Ekpa,

      Your writing above looks more like a frustrated critic who must write at all cost. The article is in three parts and only one has been released yet. I have not seen a situation where someone who has just said ‘ for……’ was interrupted and claimed to have said ‘formal’, ‘forgone’…..etc. You must allow her to conclude the article before you start unleashing your daggers.

      Your preemptive attitude has weakened your position and made you look like an enemy rather than a reasonable, constructive critic you probably wanted to espouse. Be guided about what you write on social media and stop embarrassing yourself.

      • Gugurus Ekpa

        Elewah,

        Thanks for your unfounded assumptions. When you write, your communication should quickly deliver the requisite intellectual blow so that the reader is glued to the remainder of the information presented. The information also needs to reflect a high degree of accuracy and knowledge required of the position of the minister. Her article fails on these fronts. If the first part of an article has this much problem, i can only wonder how much more problem the second part might have. You don’t wait for people to conclude what they are doing before holding them responsible for their actions. I can assure you that the second part of her communication may be worse. I hope Kemi will prove me wrong. I am not her enemy. I am here to force a supposed minister to operate at a much higher level of excellence than most expect. Try to use your capacity for reason to make valuable assertion which could help the world, will you? Stop yearning for mediocrity.

  • Deen

    A very good article Mrs. Adeosun. I will be looking to the follow up.
    But may I add.
    Nigerian are very hard working and resolute. Just like the contributions below, we are such a good followers that we are most times taken for granted by our leaders. I will make a fact here, the APC government should better get it right and not taken the voters for granted. What happened to Jonathan will be a child’s play come next election. Nigerians will like to see real change not cosmetic change. We hand no problem with Buhari but the problems will be all you ministers and advisers. As Buhari will need a total commitment and dedication from all.
    God save Nigeria.

  • Aplus

    The best part of the article for me is that at least we know that they have been able to stop the downward slide of the nation. What remains is to begin to press the pedal for an accelerated catch-up with what should have been. With an honest and sincere government, Nigerians are perhaps the best people to govern.