by Alexander O. Onukwue
Reports from camps for Internally Displaced Persons in Borno state say that at least seven have died from a cholera outbreak last week.
The disease hit the Maiduguri camp within the same period that floods were disrupting the balance of life in Makurdi in Benue state. Both occurrences are under the purview of the administration of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) which has been heavily criticized for their below optimum response to the Benue situation so far.
IDPs in the North East continue to be the most vulnerable group in the country even as they remain under attack from Boko Haram terrorists. Recent bombing in Maiduguri have increased the toll of the dead and maimed, leaving many with no choice but to leave and flee to unknown destinations.
NEMA’s boss, Mustapha Maihaja, has been accused of being unwilling to utilize the funds of the agency towards relief efforts since he became head of the agency in April 2017. However, the agency refutes, stating that it has deployed materials and coordinated efforts to provide some succor in Makurdi through the set-up of settlement camps and shelters.
With the senior civil servants of the agency threatening a strike, the capacity to cater to the double tragedies and possibly others to come presents the picture of a agency that may be at a point of being overwhelmed.