From Kemi Yesufu and Fred Itua, Abuja
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State have said contrary to claims by the military and the Federal Government, some towns are still being held by Boko Haram.
Rather, the IDPs said Gwoza local government and other towns within the area were still under the control of Boko Haram. They reiterated that instead, they were being pressured by the government through the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to return to their various communities in order to prove that the insurgents had been defeated.
Chairman of the IDPs camp in New Konchingoro suburb of Abuja, Mr. Filimo Emmanuel, made this known yesterday when Senator Dino Melaye marked his birthday with them.
“NEMA and the NHRC have continually told us we will go back to our villages that 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 as our villages is controlled by Boko Haram. We are begging you to take our complaints to the National Assembly. You can 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 back.”
Melaye prayed to God that peace would be restored in the North-East in order for them to return to their various homes.
Melaye, who is the Senate Committee chairman on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), begged Boko Haram to immediately release the kidnapped Chibok girls.
Meanwhile, Speaker Yakubu Dogara has reiterated the commitment of the House of Representatives to cooperate with the executive arm to see to the total defeat of Boko Haram.
Dogara spoke during a visit to the Wassa camp of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abuja.
According to him, leaders, who were voted in by Nigerians, majority of whom recognise insurgency as one of the country’s greatest challenges “cannot sleep over the plight of the IDPs in the camps.”
Addressing inmates of the camp, where he donated assorted food items and clothing materials to be shared among the four camps located within Abuja, the speaker said his mission was to personally appraise the living conditions of the IDPs in Abuja.
While noting that most IDPs are willing to return home but had to be taken care of in the mean time, Dogara pledged to also reach out to the camps outside the nation’s capital as soon as possible.