Faraa fled her community in the wake of an attack by non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria six years ago. Armed men burned down several houses that night, including hers, and took the lives of men, women and children.
Fleeing a trail of devastation in her home in Michika, she arrived in a host community in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, in search of safety and a new home for herself and her family.
In Yola, Faraa met one of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) workers in October 2015. Following her experiences during conflict in the years prior, she showed signs of distress and indicators of depression.
The IOM team provided psychosocial support and referred her to a mental health facility in Yola where she was treated for severe depression. Since then, Faraa has been receiving medication as well as psychoeducation, which ensures that she and her family are aware of the conditions and symptoms of the disorder and acknowledge the importance of taking her medication.
In 2017, as her condition began to improve, she was selected by IOM to receive integrated small-scale livelihood support including a machine to make pasta and raw materials to complement her recovery process.
Now in its tenth year, the ongoing conflict between non-state armed groups and Nigerian armed forces continues to uproot the lives of tens of thousands of civilians. Since 2019, a spike in violence and military counter-operations have displaced some 136,000 people in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States. In Adamawa alone, over 190,534 individuals like Faraa are currently displaced from their homes.
“The crisis in the Lake Chad Region is far from over,” said Vincent Houver, IOM Deputy Director for Operations and Emergencies during a visit to Nigeria in July 2019. “The humanitarian community cannot spare any effort at this time.”
An Eye for Business
With the proceeds from her business, Faraa can provide for her four children, three of whom are enrolled in a nearby private nursery and primary school.
“I did not know how to make pasta before, but I learned in one day,” she said to IOM staff on a recent home visit to assess her progress.
Standing in front of a brick structure, she explains that she has saved enough money to buy a piece of land where she is now building a house for her family.
Faraa is now venturing into other business opportunities. Just recently, she started selling pasta and chin-chin, a fried snack popular in West Africa, at a private primary school within the community.
IOM’s MHPSS activities in Nigeria were prompted by the aftermath of the Chibok girls’ abduction in 2014. Today, mobile teams operate safe spaces in 12 locations in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. Eighteen teams composed of 114 members comprise educators, health care workers, counselors, social workers, community resource persons and animators. They offer artistic workshops and other recreational activities for children and youth, informal education for adults, counseling, support groups and small-scale conflict resolution. By integrating psychosocial support into livelihood activities, IOM promotes positive coping mechanisms and resilience among the displaced population.
Today, Faraa feels safe and welcome in the town she escaped to six years ago. Much of her past is a blur, but as she ponders on her future, she seems calm and optimistic.
“I never thought I would be as happy as I am now,” she says, as she hands out samples of fresh chin-chin. Her customers grab a piece and quickly ask for another. Faraa chuckles, her eyes beaming with pride.
Name has been changed to protect the identity of the beneficiary.
IOM’s MHPSS activities in northeast Nigeria are funded by SIDA, USAID, the Government of Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany.
FRCN denies harassing NUJ President in Ibadan
Chairman, Nigeria Union of journalists, NUJ, FRCN, Ibadan Chapel, Alhaji Nafiu Busari on Wednessday urged the public to disregard an information making the round that his members assaulted the union’s president, Chief Chris Isiguzo.
The chairman described the report as unprofessional and barbaric in nature, just as he implored the group that wrote the story to take time to upgrade their journalism skills to avoid dishing false information to the public.
In a statement made available to Mega Icon Magazine, Busari explained that the national president, Chris isiguzo and his entourage had earlier informed the management of their intentions of paying courtesy call on Tuesday, 25th February.
” On arrival, they came with Demola Babalola who has been facing legal charges on his eligibility to participate in NUJ election.
” My members held a congress earlier in the day and resolved that Babalola, and other syndicates were not expected in the station”, he said.
Busari added that the president with his entourage were welcomed by the FRCN management while others were politely informed that they were not welcomed.
“The Zonal Director, Alhaji Muhammed Bello gave a warm welcome to NUJ President and the meeting was fulfilling as Isiguso described Alhaji Bello as a good union man.
“If there was any rancor, it would be reflected in the pictures, NUJ delegation were comfortable as they even left with souvenir of FRCN.
” My members are decent and professional, I understand where the story is coming from and I understand their plights.
“We have a matter in court and we are determined to see that justice prevails. No matter how long.
“The public should disregard the information, the reality will soon be revealed to the public”, the statement concluded.
Unruly FRCN reporters harass NUJ President, Isiguzo, others in Ibadan
Some staff of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ibadan Office on Tuesday displayed their unruly behaviour to Chief Chris Isiguzo, the President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other members of his entourage.
The delegation led by the president had visited the station as part of his ongoing official visit to Ibadan.
The members of staff led by Mr Adedayo Adelowo(Associate Member), Laolu Fawole(Suspended Member) and Mrs Abisola Oluremi (Associate Member) had besieged the gate harassing members of the delegation.
Some members of the delegation were later allowed into the premises leaving others who could not stand the harassment to leave the premises.
However, a top official of the station who craved anonymity, said the members of staff have just caused the station corporate embarrassment, saying they would pay dearly for the act.
It would be recalled that Mr Adewunmi Faniran, a staff of the station and immediate past Chairman of NUJ in the state had lost his re-election to Mr Ademola Babalola in the last election held on Dec. 18, 2019.
Faniran, who is from the FRCN chapel, one of the 10 existing chapels in the state had only six votes to the 179 votes polled by Babalola in the election.
Babalola and Mr Bamigbola Gbolagunte, NUJ Zonal Secretary(South West) in separate interviews condemned the act, saying such act was not good for the image of a government institution like FRCN.
The duo in their reaction said that the members of staff should have sought a better civilised way of channeling their grievances than resorting to self-help in the form of harrassment and hooliganism.
Babalola called for calm, saying they are yet to come to terms with the reality on ground.
“They are my members and you can understand when one of them came to plead for my understanding that they were acting on the orders of their boss.
“I know they are still suffering from the defeat of their boss but they should understand that power comes from God and only Him enthrones whosoever He wishes.
“They are my members and I will welcome them back to the fold anytime they are ready. For us, one out of existing 10 chapels in the State cannot hold the union to ransom,” Babalola added.
A text message sent to the Zonal Director of the station to get his reaction was not replied as at the time of filing the report.
On the entourage of the president were Mr Cosmas Oni, Vice-President(South West), Chief Wilson Bako, Vice President (North Central), Mrs Bimbola Oyetunde, SSA to the NUJ President, who is also General Manager, Bronze FM.
Also on the delegation are Alhaji Alli Atabor, National Trustee, Mr Silva Okereke, National Trustee, Mr Abiodun Olalere, Former Chairman, NUJ Osun Council, Mr Bamigbola Gbolagunte, NUJ Zonal Secretary(South West).
Others are Babalola, Oyo NUJ Chairman, Mr Sola Oladapo, Oyo NUJ Secretary and Mr Akeem Abas, Oyo NUJ Treasurer.
Kano govt. to continue N3.4bn probe against Emir Sanusi
The Kano State government has reaffirmed that it will continue the investigation into the alleged financial misappropriation of over 3.4 billion naira against Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.
The government through Mr Muhyi Magaji Rimingado, Executive Chairman of Kano State public complaints and anti-corruption commission stated this while reacting to the ruling of the Federal High Court in Kano that quashed the interim investigation report.
Mr Rimingado at a press conference on Monday, said though the court has nullified the report on the basis of non-invitation of the Emir,but his commission will go ahead with its investigation and invite Emir Sanusi in compliance with the court ruling.
He added that another option available to the Kano State government is to appeal the judgment as there are numerous grounds for appeal.
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