Victims of twin fire at Muna Garage IDP camp say incidents not natural



Victims of the twin fire disaster in Muna Garage IDP Camp have alleged that the incidents were not natural occurrences.

The [first incident][1] occurred yesterday at about 11:00am in the morning, leaving over 205 makeshift tents burnt.

[The second][2] occurred today, also at about 10:30 am but there was no any loss of life in both incidents.

The causes for the incidents are not yet known.

However, the displaced persons living in the camp have since dismissed the belief that they were natural.

They said contrary to what is reported, the incidents were an attack on the camp by hoodlums.

Abdullahi Bukar, an eyewitness, claimed to our reporter that he had seen 'a man in a white garment, who was fanning and regenerating the fire.'

The IDPs believe that the hoodlums sneaked into the camp with the help of young children and then thereafter torch the tents.

'When we are trying to put off the fire, I saw a man with white gown trying intensify the situation by torching other sections of the camp.

'It is obvious that, this man is an enemy of this camp,' Bukar repeatedly said.

Another eyewitness who identified himself as Isa Mohammed, also alleged that young children are used by the hoodlums to carry out the crimes, even though investigation is ongoing to identify the real cause.

‘At the instance of putting off the fire, we caught some children looting properties including matrasses and other valuables,’ he said.

He did not explain how the young children were used, neither did other sources corroborate him.

Nobody is entirely sure how the two incidents, occurring within an interval of just 24 hours, happened.

The Muna camp is largely populated by farmers displaced from Mafa, a local government about 50km from the area.

‘Most of us are from Mafa Local Government and most of us are farmers, we are hard working by the safety of our properties, especially what we farmed with our sweat, is no longer guaranteed.

‘We are calling on government to fence our camp or find other solutions to our problem’, he said.

Mohammed said, no life was lost, but several properties have been lost.

Muna Garrage Camp is unofficial, meaning it is both not opened and managed by the state government.

It is located at the outskirts of Maiduguri, along Maiduguri - Mafa Road, with over 300 households leaving in makeshift tents.

Between 2016 and 2018, the general area was attacked several times by suicide bombers, given to its location.

Many lives were lost to the attacks, until the security of the general area improved in 2019.

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