Late December, the Federal Government declared ‘technical’ victory over the terrorist group which has killed over 20,000 people and displaced 2 million since it began waging a war against Nigeria in 2009. This declaration was quickly followed by deadly attacks by the group in Maiduguri and Adamawa. Officials say about 60 people were killed, some sources say the dead were close to 150.
The chairman of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kuchingoro, Mr. Philemon Emmanuel, dispelled claims by the Federal Government and the military that members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect have been tactically defeated in their domain.
According to him, Gworza LGA and other towns within the area were still under the control of Boko Haram, adding that they were under pressure by the National Emergency Agency and National Human Rights Commission to return to their various communities in order to prove that the insurgents have been defeated.
Emmanuel made this disclosure when Senator Dina Melaye visited the IDP camp to mark his birthday on Thursday, January 7, 2015. Dino, who is chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), spent his entire day with over 1,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kuchingoro where he donated a live cow, Indomie Noodles, about 20 bags of rice, books and other writing materials.
Emmanuel commended Melaye saying this would be the first time a serving Senator would pay visit to the IDPs camp, alleging that even their own Senator (Alli Ndume) has abandoned them without visiting.
He said, “The NHRC and NEMA have continually told us that we will go back to our villages because Boko Haram has been pushed out of our villages, which is not true.
“No military went to our villages. There is no military in Gwoza and our village is controlled by Boko Haram. We are begging you to take our complaints to the National Assembly where Senator Alli Ndume claims to be representing us. But we leave him to God.
“We beg distinguished Senator Dino Melaye and the media to help us to talk to the Chief of Army Staff so that he can send soldiers to our villages to flush out the insurgents. If we are able to confirm that Boko Haram has been flushed out from our villages, even, tomorrow, we are ready to go.”
According to him, the relief materials and celebration were to bring succour to the IDPs from Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.
Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was accompanied by friends, well-wishers and supporters.
He described the IDPs as senior citizens of Nigeria.
Melaye said, “My birthday this year will be a very fulfilling one, having come to you, senior citizens of Nigeria, paying a very huge sacrifice for the atrocities you know nothing about.
“I commend your efforts, I salute your resilience and indomitable spirits and I pray that all these sufferings would not be in vain. So I am here to make these few donations to support your inhabitable situation here.”
He however pleaded for the release of the over 200 female students of Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.
He assured the IDPs of government’s sincerity to end insurgency such that they could return to their abode in the north east.
Melaye said, “I am very optimistic that because God is God and God is His name, very soon this insurgency and the pain inflicted by Boko Haram will come to an end. I also use this opportunity to call on Boko Haram to please in the name of God release our girls and daughters in their possession. My prayers is that the adopted Chibok girls will be released soon by the grace of God.
“I commend your efforts, I salute your resilience and indomitable spirits and I pray that all these sufferings would not be in vain. So I am here to make these few donations to support your inhabitable situation here. My singular prayer is that God will restore peace in the North East so that all of you can return home very soon. I use this opportunity to appreciate the effort of Buhari and the military to ameliorate insurgency in the region.”
He advised the IDPs to co-habit peacefully, adding that the pains inflicted on the people would be a thing of the past.
Primary 4 pupil, Aliu Ibrahim read one of the books donated by Melaye, entitled: “The Fisherman and The Fish.”