News Commentary: Plateau IDPs and an urgent call for assistance
Written by News Desk on May 22, 2023
It is written by Joseph Gilbert of our News and Current Affairs Department
Last week,one of the worst cases of man’s inhumanity to man executed by terrorists against innocent Plateau villagers occurred in Mangu communities with so many deaths recorded and properties destroyed .
The attacks on the people have also triggered a humanitarian crisis with so many internally displaced persons taking refuge in different parts of the state .
It is a double tragedy that the people who should enjoy the protection of the government have either being killed by the rampaging terrorists in their homes while those who managed to escape the onslaught are without any place for their settlement .
According to media reports ,many of the displaced persons mainly women and children are camping in open spaces in the neighbouring Pankshin LGA,Mangu and other places in the state
Their plight has been worsened by the cold weather occasioned by lingering rainy season and the women are said to be making nylon tents and burning firewood to keep their children warm at nights.
There are fears that the unexpected attacks on their ancestral homes and their forceful displacements may result in shock and trauma for the IDPs, particularly for women, children and elderly persons.
From experience ,the affected persons also face heightened protection risks.
These may include abuse while searching for food and safety .
No doubts,the situation in which the internally displaced persons have found themselves in Plateau state is one for the government to handle and address.
But It is also requires the intervention of non state actors such as NGOs,civil society organizations , socio-cultural organisations,religious groups ,among others ,including public spirited individuals.
Beyond the call for their assistance, internally displaced persons constitute an aberration in Plateau state because it is a recent development, mostly caused by activities of terrorists and bandits, amid government failure to protect lives and property of the people .
The permanent solution therefore is for government to perform its responsibility and prevent criminal attacks on citizens wherever they may be in the state .