Over 100 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in Edo State that have been offered admissions to study in tertiary institutions could forfeit their admissions while some undergraduates among them might drop-out from school due to their inability to pay their tuition fees and meet up with other related financial obligations.
The displaced persons at the Home for the needy located in Uhogua Community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State feel abandoned due to the inability of their Caregiver to pick all their bills.
They are appealing to the federal and State Governors including Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State to offer them Scholarships as stop-gap measures towards easing their socio-economic burden — prolonged University lecturers’ strike and Covid-19 pandemic, that slow down the pace of academic progress.
Speaking to newsmen on the development, John Ayuba, 100 Level student of University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Edo State, said, “one of the threats to our education as IDPs in Edo State is lack of fund”, fears that if the situation persists, some of them could drop-out of school and have their dreams shattered, one year after about 100 IDPs who were offered admissions to study in tertiary institutions of their choices, withdrew from schools due to financial constraints.
The 22-year-old Law student from Borno State that resides at the Camp, said: “Now that we have already started our University education, it will not be good to drop out at this level due to the lack of funds or scholarships.
“I watch the news every day and we are pleased with what Governor Umara Babagana Zulum is doing. We want him to come here (IDPs Camp) and come to our aid. When we finish our University education, we are still going to develop Borno State in particular and Nigeria at large.
“We are standing for all displaced persons. So, when we get an education, it is a sure proof that we are going back to help the needy and develop the entire society.
“It is difficult for the man of God, and Coordinator of the Camp, Pastor Solomon Folorunso alone to provide Scholarship for thousands of people, meet our needs, provide hostel accommodation for everybody giving the economic situation in Nigeria”, he said.
According to him, “Apart from education, there are other areas in which we need support. You cannot learn with an empty stomach. So, we need food. Thousands of IDPs could barely feed once a day. So, we are appealing to the Governor to help us with food.
“Healthcare is another challenging issue that we have at the Camp. Sometimes when you go to the health Centre when a sick person goes to the dispensary, you can’t get some medicine. Why? They will tell you it is not available — out of stock because there is no money to buy medicine.
Also speaking, Rifkatu Ali, 300 Level Law student of Edo University, Iyamho, Edo State, recalled her ordeal after she fled Borno State, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency and found refuge at the IDPs Camp for six years.
The 23-year-old girl, revealed that the fact that I found refuge in Edo State due to the unabated insurgency in Borno State, “doesn’t mean that I do not know my route. Home is home when the security situation in Borno would have abated”.
“I particularly appeal to our State Governor, Prof. Umara Babagana Zulum to come and help us. We have heard about his exploits, visits and supports to different IDPs Camps in Borno State. We expect him to extend the same gesture to us here. He should not forget us in Edo State. When insurgency is over, we will return and develop our State”.
On his part, Bazigla Haruna, 200 Level Medicine and Surgery student, Edo University, Iyamho in Edo State, revealed that aside from food scarcity, the IDPs need to be integrated economically to be able to cope with the economic downturn in Nigeria.
He also explained how over 100 Candidates who were offered provisional admissions to study courses of their choices between 2019 and 2020, forfeited their admissions due to lack of support and funds to process their admissions between 2019/2020.
Haruna, an indigene of Borno State, North-Eastern Nigeria, said, “I hate being a nuisance in the society, so I work hard to study go back to school. Right now, there is a threat to our education.
“Our dreams seem to have been truncated because of lack of funds. We have already resume school online and asked to pay our school fees which is a huge amount of money before resumption. Hence my appeal to appropriate authorities to assist us.
“We have challenges in different aspects of inclusion feeding. It will cost about N600, 000 to feed about 4000 people three times daily. Due to lack of funds, we eat once or twice per day.
“We want him (Governor Zulum) to assist us in the area of feeding. A few days ago, he shared foodstuff to some IDPs Camps in Borno State. He shared money to some businessmen and gave scholarship to some indigent students.
“Secondly, in the area of education, we have about 47 people that schooling in different Universities. More worrisome is that most parents now find it difficult to train their Children in Nigeria due largely to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged the whole economy of the world. The impact of Covid-19 has caused down still of the economy”, he said amid the crisis as they brave through the odds of life daily.
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