The series is based on a 16-day field trip that cuts across various communities in Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara affected by banditry in the Northwest. It focuses on the experiences of the various pockets and gatherings of Internally Displaced People and refugees — the attacks on their communities and their struggling realities as IDPs.
The reports are especially important because, while the conflict situation in the region is worsening significantly, the reaction from the authorities has been sleepy. This is not only in terms of military operations, but also in terms of humanitarian intervention. Some of the state governments have even discouraged the setting up of displacement camps, closed existing ones, and warned non-governmental organisations against providing support to the victims of banditry. Without reports like these highlighting as closely as possible the extent of the humanitarian tragedy in these places, it will be difficult to call the authorities to account and rally for support, both local and international, for those who have lost their loved ones and livelihoods due to no fault of theirs.
The first part details for the first time the experience of Nigerian refugees who had been forced to seek help in the Niger Republic because of the absence of support structures for displaced people in their home country. The second part focuses on the lives of IDPs at one of the few camps in Sokoto State, while the third, also set in Sokoto, takes a look at how people are displaced every evening from their communities because of imminent and frequent terror attacks. The final two parts home in on the experiences of the displaced communities in Katsina and Zamfara states.
All five reports in the series have accompanying short video documentaries, which provide more immersive storytelling. Three of the reports have equally been converted into podcast episodes here, here, and here.