Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe
A delegation from the Gombe State Government has visited internally displaced persons host communities in Balanga Local Government Area, to assess the true situation of the areas hosting IDPs fleeing communal clashes in Guyuk and Lafiya-Lamurde Local Government areas of Adamawa State for the needed intervention.
The delegation, led by the Commissioner of Internal Security and Ethical Orientation, Mr. Dauda Batari Zambuk, along with the police and army in the areas, said the state government needed to assess the security situation to determine the condition of the IDPs, so as to recommend the appropriate intervention for them.
Mr. Batari said the team was able to visit Nyuwar, Jessu and Cham to know the number of IDPs presently taking refuge in the communities
“Most of these IDPs are staying in public schools. Some of them we saw are staying in churches. So, government is trying to have the exact, correct situation of what has happened,” said Mr. Batari.
He said the first line of action required in Nyuwar and Jessu, was the provision of security to douse the already high tensions created from reports of imminent attacks on the communities.
Patrol of the areas
The Gombe State Commissioner for Internal Security said already the police had gone on patrol of the areas to assure the people get adequate security, while the army would equally stay in the area to provide security as well.
Voice of Nigeria observed that there was still apprehension among the IDPs in the communities they had fled to, because there were still rumours of possible attacks, which was making them move further for safety.
The Commissioner said after the assessment of the situation, the government would quickly step in to provide palliative for the people to cushion the effect on the communities, which had been overwhelmed by the high number of IDPs in their communities.
“Like for instance, Cham. They are not prepared for receiving the number of people we saw. We can say from what we saw, perhaps may not be less than a thousand. So, a community receiving a thousand people in a day and unprepared, of course it can be overwhelming, in terms of facilities, in terms of their requirement , in terms of day-to-day things that they will need. So, our assessment now will enable government now do the second thing, provide them palliatives,” Mr. Batari said.
He pleaded with the governments of Adamawa and Gombe States to quickly intervene and jointly tackle the recurring clashes in the communities, which were affecting the agricultural activities and livelihoods of the people in those areas.
Mr. Batari cautioned the people against accepting false information which leads to panic and mass exodus from their homes, thereby giving criminally minded people to steal their resources.
Meanwhile, the District Head of Nyuwar, Mr. James Pisagih, who was the immediate past Secretary to the Gombe State Government, said despite the tensed security situation in his area, he had strictly warned the youths in his domain not to take the laws into their hands by attacking any community or group.
Mr. Pisagih, who is the leader of the Lunguda Speaking tribe in Nyuwar, said his traditional council had had series of meetings with the village heads under him, so that they would appeal to the youths not to take any reprisal attacks to areas carrying out attacks on the Lunguda tribe.
“To God be the glory, things have been calm, but as I have reported, there were those who have been recalcitrant, who decided to sneak out and go and join those forces and unfortunately, two of them lost their lives out of the 11 or 15 who went,” Mr Pisagih said.
He said the Nyuwar District Council had equally appealed to the state government to consider the report it made through the Bala Waja of Talase, the Paramount Ruler of Balanga in Talase, the local government Headquarters, for a dialogue between the Lunguda and Waja tribes, who had lived together for long and had never had such horrible experience between them.
He said dialogue on what he perceived as a generational change in the youths, who feel that land issues in the Lunguda speaking areas should not be determined traditionally as it was since time immemorial.
“The appeal I am making to the government is that, we can dialogue with the youths, who want the status quo reversed, so that whatever farmland they owned, they owed it permanently. We can dialogue on that and arrived at a consensus or at a conclusion which is acceptable to both parties. Once this is done, I want to believe, nothing will be so out of place as it is now. You have come here and seen how tensed everywhere is. People are on the streets moving aimlessly. All this rain yesterday was on them,” said the District Head of Nyuwar.
The internally displaced persons in Cham, Jessu and surrounding areas fleeing attacks in Adamawa communities, and Nyuwar and Jessu are appealing to both state governments to come to their rescue by providing them with palliatives to cushion the effects of the displacement ad ensure an end to the communal clashes.
The District Head adds that the IDPs are taking refuge in schools, churches and homes in the host communities, which is having an overwhelming effect on the lives of the communities, who were not prepared for the influx of the number of IDPs in their domain.