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AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PLIGHT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS IN IDP CAMPS

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AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PLIGHT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS IN  IDP CAMPS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

One of the prevailing challenges encountered by the Nigerian state is the resolution of the predicaments experienced by internally displaced persons (IDPs), as a consequence of the ongoing acts of violence perpetrated by the Boko Haram insurgents in the northeastern part of the country. In his scholarly examination of the concept of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Ladan (2016) employs an international law perspective to define and elucidate the nature of IDPs. Displaced persons, as defined by international law, refer to individuals or collectives who have been compelled or compelled themselves to abandon their homes or habitual residences due to armed conflict, human rights violations, widespread violence, natural or man-made disasters. These individuals seek refuge in a relatively secure location, either within their own country's borders as internally displaced persons or by crossing an internationally recognised state border as refugees (Ladan, 2016).

The phenomenon of internally displaced persons (IDPs) refers to individuals who have been forcibly relocated from their native residences and have sought refuge in other countries. These individuals often encounter marginalisation and a lack of recognition from the host communities. One of the most egregious manifestations of malevolence entails subjecting individuals to considerable socio-economic adversities, including malnutrition, substandard housing, unemployment, societal prejudices, sexual misconduct, exploitation of child labour, premature marriages, and the subsequent proliferation of adolescent pregnancies. In the present context, individuals are confronted with additional challenges such as intimidation, humiliation, and other manifestations of social isolation. Moreover, Adesote and Peters (2015) argue that the displacement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) intensifies the preexisting burden on scarce social resources in the communities where they are resettled. These resources encompass various essential services such as housing, electricity, potable water, healthcare infrastructure, educational establishments, and market facilities. This circumstance gives rise to a state of heightened competition between internally displaced individuals (IDPs) and their host communities, particularly with regards to the allocation of resources such as agricultural land. A considerable number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) largely depend on agriculture as their main means of livelihood and subsistence. In the majority of cases, a significant number of internally displaced individuals (IDPs) face the challenge of lacking access to cultivable land for agricultural purposes. The aforementioned factors contribute to a decline in productivity among internally displaced individuals (IDPs), hence worsening the preexisting challenges associated with food security and unemployment inside the country.

According to Adesote and Peters (2015), within the Nigerian setting, a significant proportion of citizens have been obliged to vacate their homes and relocate to more secure areas.  The demographic groups most profoundly affected by these challenges are vulnerable populations, which encompass children, the elderly, and women, who encounter considerable economic and political hardships. Moreover, based on the most recent statistical data, Nigeria is said to possess the largest population of displaced individuals in the African continent, with an approximate count of 3.3 million people as of the year 2016 (IDMS, 2014 and NRC, 2014). The presented data include persons who have experienced displacement as a result of various circumstances, such as the Boko Haram insurgency, community conflicts, flooding, and ongoing conflicts between farmers and Fulani herders in the northeastern area. In the context of global rankings, Nigeria is situated below Syria, with a documented figure of 6.5 million internally displaced individuals (IDPs), and Colombia, with 5.7 million IDPs (IDMS, 2018).

Based on the statistical data presented by HRW (2017), there has been a notable and unparalleled surge in the population of internally displaced individuals (IDPs) within recent timeframes. The primary factors contributing to this rise may be linked to the increasing frequency of Boko Haram attacks, the execution of proactive counter-insurgency strategies, and the continuing occurrence of violent inter-communal disputes in many regions across the country. According to a study by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in 2015, the year 2019 witnessed a series of clashes between farmers and Fulani herders in the states of Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, and Kaduna, leading to the displacement of around 100,000 inhabitants. The increasing population of internally displaced individuals (IDPs) in Nigeria has been a matter of concern for an extended period. Based on the projections provided by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) in April 2020, a cumulative figure of 1,538,982 persons were obliged to undertake the displacement of their houses in Nigeria. This figure comprises those who have experienced displacement as a result of the violent attacks carried out by the Boko Haram insurgency, in addition to those impacted by the government's counter-insurgency operations and the ongoing inter-communal violence. The state of Borno, which has had significant impact from the Boko Haram insurgency, witnessed the most substantial rise in the population of internally displaced persons (IDPs), with Adamawa and Yobe states exhibiting similar trends.

Furthermore, the assessment done by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in April 2015, the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) revealed that a collective count of 1,491,706 individuals who had been internally displaced (IDPs) were identified in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe. Approximately 6% of the mentioned amount may be linked to intercommunal violence, and the remaining 94% is a consequence of the Boko Haram insurgency. According to a report by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in February 2015, there was a recorded surge of 47,276 individuals who were internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the regions of Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kano, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Abuja (IOM, 2015). The statistic shown above demonstrates that the total number of internally displaced persons in the year 2015 reached 1,538,982 among the states situated in the northeastern area. Despite the concerted efforts undertaken by the Nigerian government to mitigate the violent activities of the insurgents, their operations have extended beyond the northeastern region to include Abuja and its environs. This tendency indicates that a larger population of persons might potentially experience relocation if prompt measures are not taken to mitigate the activities of the insurgents.

1.2 Statement of the problem

No doubt that the prevalence of internally displaced individuals in Northeastern Nigeria resulting from the violent attacks carried out by the insurgent groups is a matter of great concern to academia and well meaning citizens. Despite the government's attempts to mitigate the challenges faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) through the establishment of IDP camps, these individuals continue to encounter significant socio-economic, health, and environmental difficulties. These challenges include unemployment, insecurity, inadequate access to food and clean drinking water, overcrowding, and substandard sanitation conditions within their camps located across the northeastern states. In several instances, the aforementioned circumstances have compelled internally displaced persons (IDPs) to evacuate the camps in order to ensure their personal safety. This kind of action exacerbates their already challenging circumstances.

Ladan  (2016) stated that the concealed challenges faced by disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in their newly formed dwellings are a matter of great concern. The internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in IDP camps face security challenges, as the insurgents have consistently breached security protocols and carried out suicide bombings within certain IDP camps situated in the Northeast region. The continuous progression of development exacerbates the difficulties experienced by internally displaced individuals (IDPs) by subjecting them to heightened levels of psychological suffering and socio-economic adversity. Furthermore, the internally displaced individuals (IDPs) who have sought shelter in neighbouring towns are driven to rebuild their lives within these host communities, where they are confronted with uncertain futures.

Due to the aforementioned problems, internally displaced persons (IDPs) are susceptible to several health issues, including vascular illnesses, malaria, malnutrition, waterborne infections, and premature mortality. Moreover, the displacement has a significant impact on national production, since it results in the displacement of the youth population, who comprises a crucial component of the country's productive workforce. The consequence is that the demographic of young individuals who possess the potential to contribute to the increase of gross domestic products are now experiencing unemployment within their respective host communities. The aforementioned difficulties have a detrimental impact on the government's development endeavours, contributing to the persistent decline in Nigeria's development index. Consequently, these issues necessitate immediate action.

It is evident that the current circumstances need the establishment of effective strategies to handle the challenges faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Northeast region. The primary objective is to alleviate their hardships and facilitate their reintegration into society, so enabling them to make valuable contributions towards the socio-economic progress of the nation. This study aims to examine the challenges faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Northeast region and evaluate the measures used by the Nigerian government to mitigate this issue.

Despite the obvious academic questions raised by this conditions of IDPs and the need to address the puzzle and harness its outcomes for public policy making and implementation, extant studies have paid fleeting attention to this all important aspect of knowledge. The extant studies have not given deserved attention to the State of Internally Displaced  in Nigeria and  how the IDPs could be rehabilitated and re-integrated into the society, have rather focused on how to provide temporary measures that would alleviate their plights (Lopez, 2011:IDMC, 2013;(  Against the backdrop, this study was conducted.

1.2  Objectives of the study

The objective of this study is focused on assess the Plight Of Internally Displaced Persons In  IDP camps in Bornu state. The study specifically seeks to

i.          To examine social plight of internally displaced persons in  Nigeria.

ii.        To ascertain the economic plight of internally displaced persons in  Nigeria.

iii.      To investigate government responses to plights of internally displaced persons in Nigeria.


1.4       Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following questions;

i.          What are the  social plight of internally displaced persons in  Nigeria in  Nigeria  IDP camp?

ii.        What are the the economic plight of internally displaced persons in  Nigeria?

iii.      What are government responses to plights of internally displaced persons in Nigeria?

1.5       Research hypotheses

Ho: The state of internally displaced persons in  Nigeria is not in deplorable condition.

Hi:  The state of internally displaced persons in  Nigeria is in deplorable condition.

1.6       Significance of the study

The findings of this research would provide useful information to psychological centers, and clinical psychologist who seeks to offer therapeutic services to help victims of arm banditry to deal with the traumatic experiences. This study will provide useful literature for further researchers who will conduct related research in the future. Nongovernmental organizations also would benefit from this study even as they worked with IDPs. The research will help the NGO to know to help those who suffer psychologically as a result of what they experienced that necessitate displacement from their homes. To government, the study is of paramount importance for policy makers and citizens for it traces the historical development of domestic terrorism in Nigeria, focusing on how corruption, ethno-political control of resources , poor governance, poverty, beatings and blows against etc have all added to the rise of terrorism in Nigeria. The study will enlighten security operatives on the need to develop counter-terrorism strategy to enable them curb the insecurity in the North east. Theoritcally, the study will serve as reference material to student and other researchers in this field, provide useful information to the general public and provide useful educational materials in the libraries.

1.7       Scope of the Study

Owing that making an investigation like this is the whole northern Nigeria is broad, there is need  to delimit the study to researchable scope hence the researcher selected   Bornu State as one of the affected State by terrorism with a sizeable number of internal displaced person.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

During the course of the research,  few minor obstacles while conducting the study, just as in every scientific endeavour. Lack of literature on   insurgency and it's effect on socio-economic development of North East Nigeria  was a key barrier. Hence, locating the pertinent resources, books, or information and the data gathering procedure took a lot of effort and organization. Language was also a barrier as most resident of Borno had difficulties understanding the research instrument because it was presented in English Language, hence the use of limited sample size. Therefore accuracy of the result will totally base on the data provided to the researcher by the educated resident and the results of this study cannot be generalized for other North East state, leaving a space for further research. Time restrictions were also an issue because the researcher had to complete this research while still going to classes and performing other necessary educational tasks.  However all aspects were minimized in order to deliver the best results possible and ensure the success of the research, despite the limitations that were faced during the study.

1.9       Definition of terms

Terrorism:     Is the unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims as well as illegal use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government as well as the population civil, or part thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Insurgency: An insurgency is a violent, armed rebellion against authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents.

Internal displacement / Internally Displaced Persons: Internally displaced persons are "persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.



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