Saturday, May 8, 2021

Thousands of refugees from Geidam camping in Bauchi: Govt

Mr Gidado disclosed that 1,750 bags of rice and other food items would be supplied to the refugees camped in four LGAs of Bauchi state.

• May 4, 2021
Refugee Camp in Congo
Photo from a refugee camp in Congo used to illustrate the story (Photo Credit: Al Jezeera)

The Bauchi State Government on Tuesday said it was taking care of refugees from Geidam in Yobe camped in four Local Government Areas of the state.

Muktar Gidado, spokesman to Governor Bala Mohammed, told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday that the governor had approved the immediate supply of relief materials to cushion their hardships.

Geidam, a densely populated town in northern Yobe, was overrun by daredevil insurgents, dislodging military presence and sharing propaganda materials to trapped residents to win them to their side.

State governor Mai Mala Buni had described the development in the town bordering Chad and Niger Republic as “condemnable, crude and grossly inhumane.”

Thousands of residents have since fled the town where acting police inspector general hails from, citing loss of faith in government ability to protect them. Many who are unable to cross over to neighbouring countries are sojourning in neighbouring villages in Bauchi State.

Mr Gidado disclosed that 1,750 bags of rice, 1,050 bags of maize, 1,750 bags of sorghum, 1,050 cartons of spaghetti, 350 bags of sugar and 3,500 cartons of noodles would be supplied to the refugees camped in four LGAs of Bauchi state.

“Reporters who are willing to go to the affected border communities will be provided with transportation for them to verify the actual position of things,” he said. 

The spokesman also dismissed news reports of Boko Haram attack on the state as false and mischievous.

Gidado was reacting to news reports that insurgents had raided Gamawa, Dambam, Zaki and Darazo local government areas of the state.

He said that the report, which was ascribed to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) was inaccurate, as the SSG was misquoted.

The media aide said that the journalist who sent out the report was not even present when the SSG addressed the media on the presence of refugees from Yobe.

“A particular reporter who was not present during the press briefing by the SSG erroneously reported that the insurgents raided some LGAs. His medium had so far apologised over the report.

“No single attack by Boko Haram or any criminal element in the four local government areas or any local government for that matter.

“To report that Boko Haram invaded these local governments was entirely false and mischievous.

“Most of you were in attendance when the SSG spoke, he did not mention any attack on any of the four Local Governments.

“It is therefore pertinent for all of us to respect the security and integrity of our state. We as journalists must not report war where none exists.

“The general public should therefore disregard this misrepresentation by cross section of the newspapers.

“We demand that the newspapers must retract and apologise for this breach of professional ethics,” Mr Gidado said.

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