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Over 5,000 People Liberated From Dikwa, NEMA

By Ibrahim-Gwamna Mshelizza
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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Wednesday said over 5000 starved persons have been liberated from communities in Dikwa local government area of troubled Borno state

The zonal coordinator of the agency in the Northeast, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar, said in Maiduguri, that the over 5,000 persons who were mainly children, women and elderly were freed in the recent military operation in Gamboru/Ngala.

He said they were previously cut off from civilization and the rest of the world.

Kanar said the people were virtually imprisoned in their communities as the routes to major towns were blocked by members of the insurgency group, Boko Haram who have captured major towns of Dikwa and Ngala surrounding them.

He said they were living on small rations as they were compelled to depend on their livestock and farm produce without allowance for trading and commerce with the rest of the world.

He said a team of officials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Borno state government led by the Secretary to the Borno State Government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa took food and non food items to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) location at Dikwa town.

He said the IDPs were in camps in the partially destroyed state government housing estate and abandoned structures within Dikwa township.

Kanar revealed that some of them who spoke to officials of NEMA said they had not eaten for about three days and had to trek long distances to get to Dikwa.

He said: "They explained that they were virtually imprisoned in their communities by insurgents who had cut off their access to the rest of the world."

The zonal coordinator of NEMA, who led the team of NEMA officials to Dikwa to attend to the welfare of the displaced persons, said after consulting with the SSG, NEMA decided to evacuate the IDPs who were in critical conditions back to Maiduguri for proper care.

He revealed that over Over 500 persons who were in critical condition were brought from Dikwa and are now camped at the Sanda Kyarimi IDPs camp at Custom area of Maiduguri.

Speaking on what is to be done for the over 4,500 displaced persons left in Dikwa, Kanar said "when we visited we noticed that they need drugs and other essentials of life, this will be delivered to them in the next few days."

He noted that during the visit to the town, the agency had taken a truckload of food and non-food items for the use of the displaced persons.

Dikwa local government area shares border with Ngala local government area, which has Gamboru/Ngala as its largest town, a commercial town which borders Cameroon.

The Nigerian military recently carried out an operation which liberated the area, and just at the weekend the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai was ambushed by insurgents during a visit to the Nigerian troops in the area,