The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Wednesday said more than 6, 277 people have been forced to abandon their homes following the radical Islamist sect onslaught in the northeastern state of Borno.
Man claiming to be leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in video screengrab, unknown location, Sept. 25, 2013.
The agency’s spokesperson for the northeast, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, who made this known to newsmen, said the number was collated within last week.
He said the agency recorded the figure while registering internally displaced people (IDP) in the state capital, Maiduguri.
“Most of them came in the last four days, following the escalation of the crisis and threats” Ibrahim said.
The spokesman said most of the people who fled their homes to Maiduguri were mostly from Gwoza district of the state, where the sect members besieged four villages last week, and killed hundreds of residents.
Ibrahim expressed believes that the total number of IDPs would increase because some other residents escaped to neighbouring Adamawa state and across the border into Cameroon.
He revealed that the agency would provide bedding, mosquito nets, blankets and food for those who had fled, adding that they were also working with the Red Cross and other partners to forestall any health challenges that might occur.
Last week, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) in Geneva said that Boko Haram attacks were forcing some 800 people to flee their homes every day. The centre which is operated by the Norwegian Refugee Council, disclosed that at least 3,000 people have been killed since a state of emergency was imposed in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in May last year to March this year, adding that about 250, 000 people fled their homes in the same period under review.
It would be recalled that a local government leader in Gwoza, Asabe Vilita, who is also the state commissioner for commerce and investment, on Monday said that about 1, 290 people had fled their homes to Maiduguri.
Meanwhile, the above figures show the impact of the continued violence on civilians in the region which NEMA had previously warned constitutes a growing humanitarian crisis.
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