…say, ‘we’re tired of living in camps’
The Boko Haram insurgency now in its 11th year has taken its toll on the living conditions of the displaced people of Borno State. Many have lost their loved ones, everything they ever worked for and it has affected them physically, economically, socially and psychologically.
Many millionaires are now beggars as they largely depend on relief materials and assistance from governments, international and local non-governmental organisations as well as public spirited individuals to survive.
“We no longer sleep in our homes or with our eyes closed, due to the fear of Boko Haram attacks, a resident of Kwaragilim, Awana Yama, said in an interview with Sunday Telegraph “We sleep with one eye closed because of the fear of insurgents’ attacks which they renewed recently, even when we go to the farm; our minds are not at rest as they can come in any time either to dispossess us of our grains or take away any food stuff they can lay their hands on.
We go to the farms because we do not want to continuously depend on government or NGOs for assistance,” he lamented. In addition, he said that they no longer go to markets as they now do their buying and selling in small shops. “We have stopped going to market since the military closed our markets, we now operate small shops where we get our daily needs,” he added.
Narrating his and neighbour’s experience, an internally displaced person from Gajiram said: “We usually sleep here in Gajiram IDP camps but early in the morning we go to our farms in Garmin our nearby villages and farms and return to the camp before the sun sets. We stopped sleeping in our villages due to fear of insurgents’ attack, as there is no security in our villages.”
“We always leave our wives in the IDP camp in Gajiram since our villages are not safe but we go to our farms and do some in order to find something to feed our family, as the assistance cannot take us anywhere,” he further stressed. Residents of Gajiganna have taken their destinies into their hands by forming vigilante groups, as local hunters and Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) to ward off the marauders.
“For our safety, we formed vigilante groups with hunters and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force in order to ensure that the insurgents do not take us unaware.”
He continued: “These vigilantes, CJTF and hunters have also been escorting our people to the farms in case of any insurgents’ attacks, Thank God the Borno State government as well as our local government council have been assisting the vigilantes and