From Tom Garba, Yola
Mrs Dabney Shalhoma, Acting Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council has celebrated the 2016 New Year with some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Adamawa.
Shalhoma, who is an indigene of the state during her visit to Gombi, one of the host communities for IDPs said that the gesture was aimed at identifying with the IDPs.
She said: “I am here to identify with you people over your plight occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency, and as a woman, I share the pains of every internally displaced family.”
The acting executive secretary said she was also a victim of the insurgency, pointing out that her home was completely razed by the insurgents.
Shalhoma said that she would continue to visit the displaced community to keep encouraging them.
Her words: “It is regrettable and sad that human begins are experiencing this kind of situation caused by other human beings. It is unfortunate that the most defenceless people are victims of this dastardly act.
“Our people are known for hospitality and peace, and we will not be deterred by this sad experience to change from loving one another. We will continue to show love even to the wicked ones because love is our symbol. I will continue to visit you and to keep encouraging you. This is my first visit, I will continue to come and see you.
“In life, whenever you fall, you rise again, we know there is a lot of psychological trauma, but we shall surely overcome it. If I have demonstrated humanitarian support to the people of Central African Republic, then why should I not do same to you? I am also a victim of the insurgency, I lost some family members and my home was burnt down, so you can see that all of us are victims.”
Shalhoma also advised the people to remain vigilant and conscious of their immediate environment.
She said that the security of lives and property was too crucial to be abandoned to security operatives only.
She added: “I will enjoin you to be more vigilant and be more inquisitive about strangers around you. Everybody must be involved in the security business now, because security is everybody’s business. We should not look at the security personal as aliens, but rather partner with them for our development and economic growth. Thank God that the government is relentless in ensuring that insurgency is stamped out, therefore let us continue to pray for the leadership of the country to succeed in its vision and commitment.”
In his remarks, Mr Ibrahim Bulus, District Head of Garha, who is displaced to Gombi commended Shalhoma for her kind gesture.
Bulus, who received the relief materials presented by Shalhoma, on behalf of the IDPs in Gombi said that the IDPs were in dire need of basic necessities of life.
According to him, “government alone cannot do it all, we are appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to support us.”
He however, said that the IDPs were ready to return to their communities, expressing worries that the insurgents were still operating in some of the recaptured places.
Shalhoma also visited Garha community in Hong Local Council of Adamawa where the people of the community had gone back to their ancestral land.
She thanked the people for returning to their homes, encouraging them to remain vigilant and report suspicious movements to constituted authorities.
She gave them an assurance that she would revisit them within a short period of time.
The village head of Garha, ASP Dauda Istakis (rtd) commended Shalhoma for identifying with the displaced people.
Istakis, who said that the people had returned six months back, appealed to government to assist the community with shelter.
Speaking with reporters, Mr Enock Javan, a resident of the community said the community was no longer under insecurity threat.
Javan said that the community was sustained by the crops they cultivated upon their return.
He added that the schools had reopened and the health care centre had commenced operations..
Javan appealed to the government to support the community with shelter as the insurgents had already destroyed all their houses.
Garha is the headquarters of Garha Development area in the state, which came under Boko Haram attack and displaced many residents.
Shalhoma, who was accompanied by the officials of Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), distributed both food and non-food materials to both communities visited.