Eniola Awokoya paints a vivid picture of the sad plight of children living in Borno State in this interview with Happenings.
Eniola Awokoya is a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Benin, Nigeria.
She was first obsessed with the idea of becoming a medical doctor but her thought swayed when she cultivated the culture of watching the NTA network news at 9 pm daily.
Awokoya attended the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NUJ), where she bagged her first degree.
In her quest for more knowledge in her chosen field, she proceeded to the University of Benin where she bagged another degree in Journalism.
While in school, she worked with several media outfits as a reporter, including ‘Compass Newspaper’, ‘City People’, among many others.
Awokoya got her big break in broadcasting when she worked with the biggest radio station in Edo State, KU FM 92.7, as a reporter, producer and editor for two and a half years before relocating to Lagos.
She joined Happenings Media in 2017 as a presenter, assistant editor, editor, and show host. She did not spare herself, as she contributed to different departments.
The on-air-personality and reporter currently hosts 'Talk politics with Eniola' and ‘Amazons’ on Happenings Radio.
In her quest for reporting facts, she embarked on a journey to the most feared state in Nigeria, Borno, to get first-hand information on the inhabitants of the city, which has become a shadow of its former self.
She visited the Maimalari barracks, along Baga road, in Maiduguri. She also visited Bama, the largest Local Government Area in Borno State, which has become dilapidated due to incessant attacks from Boko Haram insurgents.
The town is just regaining its life after the Nigerian army restored peace. The cellular network in the town, however, is nothing to write home about. Bama is just a stone’s throw away from the most dreaded Sambisa forest.
She proceeded to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Bama, where she fought back tears upon seeing the plight of the women and children there.
In speaking with some of these inhabitants, she discovered some were once well to do traders who had been thrown into a dismal state of poverty.
Seeing the young children with barely enough flesh hanging on their skeleton made her wonder if they were part of Nigeria.
In the camps, there is also hierarchy and there are leaders called Bulamas. The people in charge of the IDP wards ensure that their various cultures are preserved.
The IDP camp is located in a school space which houses about 36,000 people and about 6000 children are in primary school.
The Nigerian army has 21 Armored Special Brigades who are combatant artilleries and are specially equipped to combat Boko Haram insurgents.
Members of the Nigerian army have taken on the responsibility of taking turns to train and educate the children due to shortage of qualified teachers.
With the incessant growth of armed chair keyboard warriors on social media, Awokoya needed to understand the full truth of what those displaced by Boko Haram were going through; hence her journey to the North.
She was impressed with the dedication of the Nigerian army in fighting insurgency. Although she could not find out the names of sponsors, she believes that Boko Haram is being sponsored by people who in the guise of religion want to set up their own government.