by Stanley Azuakola
Days after the Lagos State government set up a resettlement camp at Ipaja to provide temporary accommodation for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the Iju-Ishaga area where the DANA Airplane crashed last Sunday, the camp has remained deserted as the victims refused to return to the camp.
Though the resettlement camp being run by the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, is well stocked and furnished for the displaced persons, there was no single victim of the crash in sight.
The co-ordinator of the centre Mrs. Omowunmi Omotayo said that about 18 victims including five children were brought to the centre on the first day and were promptly resettled to their various rooms and given other necessary materials such as toothpaste, pair of slippers, wrappers, and toothbrushes among others.
“We gave them breakfast, lunch, and dinner but on Tuesday morning, they all left and are yet to return, though, some of them claimed that the distance where the camp is located is too far from their places of work and they would prefer somewhere closer to their working places.
“We are still expecting them back any moment because the state government has adequately provided for their welfare till they would be fully stable, because right now, they are still in shock and not yet in tune with the reality of things on ground. Presently, we have 18 registered displaced victims on camp including five children.”
One of the victims, Mr. Chukwu Ebuka when contacted on phone stated that the IDPs have left the camp for good because it was too far from their places of work and as a result, transportation to work would be very expensive. He is presently staying with a friend.
“It is not that they don’t have the facility but it is just unbearable for us to stay there. More so, we have lost all our valuables and all that we have ever worked for in life.
“We are using this opportunity to appeal to government to come to our aid as soon as possible as we now live on other peoples’ goodwill and benevolence because of our plight.”
While speaking on the development, General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Management Authority, LASEMA, Mr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, said about 38 displaced people were already in camp even as he said those who had deserted the camp would soon return as they were already making the moves to do so.
According to Oke-Osanyintolu, the centre will serve as temporary relief camp for the inmates till they are certified to be stable, socially, psychologically, emotionally and physically.
He said adequate arrangement has been put in place to ensure their maximum comfort as the state government has released funds to take care of their welfare in terms of feeding and other necessary needs.