Sick IDP inmate laments neglect in Nasarawa as food shortage mounts

Collins Sunday

9 July 2021

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Thomas Iowundu, a 42-year-old man who has been ill at the Internally Displaced Persons camp in Agyaragu community, in the Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State since April, has called on the state government to come to his aid.

Thomas made the appeal when PUNCH Metro visited the camp on Thursday to see how the residents were faring.

He said, “I have been sick for some time now and I have been coughing. It becomes terrible at night because when I cough, my chest hurts much and blood comes out of my mouth. I am thinking it could be tuberculosis.

“My mother and I came here during the crisis that affected many Tiv communities in April this year, around Doma, Keana and Obi local government areas of the state. She has been trying her best to see me get back on my feet, but we don’t have the money to go to a good hospital for proper medical check-up.

“I don’t want to die in this IDP camp, so I am appealing to the Nasarawa State Government to come to my aid because I am in severe pain at the moment.”

His mother, Mrs Justina Iowundu, said she had 10 children, adding that Thomas was her fourth child.

She explained that as a widow, she was doing all forms of menial jobs to put food on the table for her family until the recent farmers/herders’ crisis forced them to leave their community in Angwan Yara, Keana LGA, and take refuge in the IDP camp.

Justina, who cried profusely while speaking to PUNCH Metro, said she was not ready to lose her child and called on Nigerians to come to their rescue.

The Secretary of the camp, John Tavershima, said IDPs were passing through tough times due to shortage of relief materials.

He explained that though the government sent some supplies to the camp, they were not sufficient for the over 12,800 IDPs in the camp.

When PUNCH Metro contacted the Executive Secretary of the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency, Zakari Allumaga, he explained that the state government was not aware of the challenges the IDPs were facing and Thomas’ ill health.

He assured that government would look into the issues raised by the management of the camp and inform the state health ministry on the condition of Thomas for action

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