Newscast Media LAGOS—Delegates from Nigeria’s many religious, ethnic and linguistic
groups are meeting for a conference in Abuja to discuss the country’s future. The
plight of the internally displaced is a reminder of unresolved tensions.
Nigerians living in the north east of their country live in constant fear of attacks by
the militant Islamist sect Boko Haram. Many have therefore fled to neighboring
countries or neighboring Nigerian states.
Laraba Ahmed Karwu works for the State Emergency Management Service (SEMA) in
Gombe state. She is sitting in a comfortable stool watching a film on a laptop. A
generator could he heard running outside.
Karwu is responsible for displaced persons in Gombe state, but she doesn’t appear to
be very busy.
“Eighty percent of the returnees were originally residents of Gombe,” she said. “So
when they come back, they know where they can turn to for inquiries about their
relatives. In other words, they are not helpless,” she said.
The ever increasing number of refugees, particularly In Nigeria’s larger cities, could
have serious repercussions, said Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi, director of Germany’s
Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.
“When people move to cities that are already short of jobs and that are already over
populated, then they will be not received with open arms. There will be tension,” she
Thousands of people have been killed in the insurgency since it started in 2009.
Nearly 300,000 people in the crisis-hit states have fled to other parts of Nigeria,
according to estimates from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Source: Deutsche Welle