Media and the Challenges of Displaced Men in Nigeria: A Case Study of Durumi Area One IDPs Camp, Abuja, FCT

Media and the Challenges of Displaced Men in Nigeria: A Case Study of Durumi Area One IDPs Camp, Abuja, FCT

Felix Chidozie Chidozie (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Augustine Ejiroghene Oghuvbu (Covenant University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0210-5.ch018

Abstract

This chapter addresses the under-reportage of the challenges confronting the male population of the IDPs by the mainstream media in Nigeria. It argues that the challenges facing the IDPs as a result of the Boko Haram terrorism, natural and man-made disasters, as well as the Hausa-Fulani mayhem, are peculiar to all the IDPs irrespective of demographic disparities. With the aid of 256 copies of questionnaires distributed among the male population of IDPs, recording 100 percent return rate and interviews conducted at Durumi Area One IDPs Camps in Abuja, FCT, the study answered the research questions posed here. Findings show that the plights of the male population of the IDPs ranging from hunger, starvation, water, electricity, accommodation shortages, and lack of sustainable occupation, portend serious human security threats for the country. It proposes policy-relevant actions for the government and other related agencies working with the IDPs; while concluding the role of media in trumpeting the challenges of the male population of the IDPs will mitigate their plights.
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Introduction

Internal Displacement of Persons (IDPs) resulting from insurgency, intra/inter-state conflicts and natural disasters and its associated plights have attracted and dominated both local and international news media over many decades. The very nature of these conflicts and the magnitude of their impacts on humans and societies account for the interest they generate in the news media. All over the world, and especially in recent time, the challenges of the victims of conflicts have been clearly documented by scholars, policy makers, observers, local and international monitoring agencies and inter-governmental organizations. They include, but not limited to the following: rape, denial of human rights, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), homelessness, starvation, hunger, contraction and spread of diseases, drug addiction, dislocation from families, systematic violence, child soldier phenomenon, robbery and stigmatization (Adewale, 2016; Oginni, Opoku and Alupo, 2018).

However, the case in Africa is peculiar. Following the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the ‘New World Order’ – all the incidents which coalesced to determine the new structure of power in the international system – African countries experienced unprecedented wave of bitter intra-state conflicts and fratricidal wars as witnessed in Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo etc. The human, communal, national and international casualties of these conflicts, with the resultant insecurities, have been well articulated and documented by scholars of African Politics as well as the global news media (Acemoglu and Robinson, 2012; Agwu, 2016; Amuwo, 2010; Herbst and Mills, 2012; Mazrui, 2006; Meredith, 2005a&b; Moss, 2007). Even though Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa was not touched by the internal conflicts that ravaged many African countries following the end of the Cold War; the recent upsurge in internal displacement necessitated by the insurgencies of the Boko Haram and Hausa Fulani mayhem portends danger for the country.

Not surprisingly, recent statistics that are available show that Nigeria has the largest numbers of displaced persons in Africa projected at 3.3 million people in 2014 (Oduwole and Fadeyi, 2013). This figure also involves persons who were displaced by Boko Haram, flood victims, communal conflicts and clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the country. In the world, Nigeria is ranked behind Syria, with 6.5 million IDPs and Colombia with 5.7 million (Itumo and Nwefuru, 2016) and the figure is still rising. This endless surge in internal conflicts, has not only overwhelmed International Humanitarian Agencies, but is particularly disturbing judging by the enormous loss of lives, the destruction of public and private infrastructure and other fatal consequences in the country. To illustrate, the total official numbers of IDPs on record that Boko Haram displaced in 2013 alone was 300,000 people, who absconded from Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. Again in 2013, a total of 470,500 people were also made homeless in some communities as a result of Boko Haram insurgency and other humanitarian emergencies (Itumo and Nwefuru, 2016)

To be sure, the figures of IDPs have increased recently as a result of Boko Haram’s renewed assaults in communities across the country. Borno state has the highest numbers of IDPs in the North East followed by Adamawa and Yobe states. In 2015, an assessment by Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) set up by Internal Migration Organization (IOM) observed about 1.5 million IDPs in Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Taraba and Yobe with ninety-four percent of the number caused by Boko Haram, while six percent of the number was attributed to inter- communal clashes. National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) recorded additional figures of about fifty thousand in Plateau, Kaduna, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and Nasarawa states in February, 2015 (cited in Itumo and Nwefuru, 2016).

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