Nigeria needs $35.5m before the end of the year to combat a humanitarian emergency that has displaced 40,000 people in the North-West region of the country, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Spokesperson for the agency, Babar Baloch, said the displacement happened over a four-month period, adding that “It paints a horrible picture of lawlessness and insecurity”.
According to Reuters, the UNHCR said the victims were not coming from the Northeast where Boko Haram and the Islamic State of the West African Province have stayed strong but from Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and other parts of the North-West.
Baloch said they had received reports of frequent kidnapping, torture, extortion, murder and sexual violence by attackers, who also destroy homes and steal property.
It was gathered that Nigerians have been trooping into Niger Republic to seek cover from the bandits.
The UNHCR also observed that military and police forces have been deployed to tackle criminal gangs in the region.
The commission said it expects more Nigerians to cross the border into Niger Republic especially from Sokoto State.
While the violence in the North continues, the Nigerian Government has said it would resume its ‘Crocodile Smile’ and ‘Python Dance’ in the South-South and South-East regions of the country.
This would undoubtedly spend the already overstretched army in places where a firm civilian presence might have been more effective.