NGO unveils plan to assist relocation of victims in northeast

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The Hope for Borno Project, an initiative designed to support victims of insurgency in the northeast, has unveiled plans to assist in the relocation of the victims to their communities.

Coordinator of project, Mrs Iby Ikotidem, made this known in Abuja in an interview at the weekend.

Ikotidem said the project would deploy medical aid, food and other needs, including instructional materials, to the victims in their camps and communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

Ikotidem said the project would give give priority to education and health in its intervention in the conflict ravaged communities in the region.

“This project was conceived to give succor to victims of the insurgency in the northeast.

“This is like giving back to society through charity, that targets the most vulnerable and helpless persons amongst us,’’ she said.

Ikotidem said the initiative was prompted by her love for Nigeria and Borno, even though she hailed from Akwa Ibom , stressing that compassion had no ethnic or religious boundaries.

Ikotidem, who is an alumni of University of Maiduguri, explained that the Hope for Borno Project’ would be structured under the University of Maiduguri Alumni Association, worldwide.

She said the alumni of the institution were saddened by the magnitude of destruction in the once peaceful and economically viable northeast region, and Maiduguri in particular.

According to her, insurgency has reduced Maiduguri from what used to be the economic hub of the region, to the most dreaded part of the country.

“As an alumnus of UNIMAID, I feel sad because today I cannot walk into Maiduguri without worrying about security and this was not what Maiduguri was known for.

“We want to see what we can do to help the place that made us what we are in life today, we want to contribute to the rebuilding of the northeast.

“Alumnus of the university will contribute both in cash and in kind, to the restoration of the region; we want to spearhead the revival of schools so that the children can realise their dreams,’’ she said.

She said the `Hope for Borno Project’ was in partnership with other Non-Governmental Organisations and welcomed additional support to achieve the goal of rebuilding the northeast.

In another interview, the Executive Director of the Dave Omokaro Foundation (DOF), Dr Emem Omokaro, said the foundation was partnering with the project to support the aged amongst the victims.

She said the foundation would support review of policies and other framework that would improve the lots of the aging population in the region.

“There is a category of the vulnerable; it is the older persons in their midst and when disaster strikes, they are usually more affected than others.

“So when we see an initiative that is structured like the Hope for Borno, and by extension, the northeast, we try to identify with it and offer whatever help we can,’’ she said.

Also in another interview, Mrs Fatima Kyari-Mohammed, founder of the ‘Like Minds Project’, commended efforts of the initiative to support victims of insurgency in the northeast.

She said her project would align with the initiative to ensure that more victims were reached with whatever aid the `Hope for Borno Project’ had lined up for their beneficiaries.

Kyari-Mohammed said the `Like Minds Project’ would use its network and other logistics to identify more areas of need, and ensure that emerging opportunities were maximised.

She described efforts of the `Hope for Borno Project’ as noble, and urged other Nigerians to emulate same for the speedy resettlement of the conflict-ravaged communities.

The project has started the distribution of relief materials to victims resident in camps around Abuja.

NAN