We Don’t Cage Anybody – Edo IDP Camp Commandant

We Don’t Cage Anybody – Edo IDP Camp Commandant
Pastor Solomon Folorunsho, the Founder of the Home for The Needy in Uhogua, a community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, a facility that accommodates victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of the country, in this chat with ISAAC OLAMIKAN, spoke extensively on issues pertaining to the facility(better known as Internally Displaced Persons Camp), its occupants and other sundry issues.
Excerpts :
Sir, how do you manage the large crowd of internally displaced persons here in the camp?

I am humble enough to learn. I learn each day from these children. They have so many things in them and if you let them be they bring these talents to the fore. Managing them is not a problem. You will marvel at the abundance of talents here. Whenever I watch them do some things I am awed by the potentials they possess. There are definitely no dull moments here. Also,  I have grown through the years to manage human beings as a pastor and as a care giver. However, we face some challenges in trying to meet their needs like food,  books,  toiletries, mattresses, school bags, shoes etc. These are some of the challenges we face on a daily basis. But our faith is strong.
Here it’s noticeable that there are a motley of people who are of different ethnic groups, faith, family background etc. How do you relate with them?
First and foremost, where you come from is not an issue here. Do you know that majority of the people here do not know where I come from? We don’t emphasis on such things in this place. What we do here is that as soon as you come in here we let you know that we are one from the same father. We are brothers and sisters. We do things the was that they are spelt out in the Bible. We tell them that we use to speak in one tongue until the story of the tower of Babel. So, we should not let all that to distract us. That’s our first condition before we tell you ‘thou shall not fight; thou shall not steal etc.’ I usually tell them to see me as an example. I am not from the same village from them but I relate with them and eat with them.
Have you ever experienced some kind of rebellion by some of your wards who may want to be independent?
The Bible says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. We instill good manners and obedience to the words of God in them. For those of them that are matured enough to marry we let them marry. We support them financially or otherwise and then let them go and live happily with their spouse. We don’t cage anybody here. What we do is that we ensure that you acquire a skill that will be beneficial to you outside the camp.
Seems all of the internally displaced persons in this camp have been converted to Christianity, how were you able to convince them to become Christians?
The people here are not of any other religion. They are Christians and they have always been. When the insurgency started in the north east the people affected were the Christians so naturally in seeking for safety they moved to Christian Centers. We don’t discriminate here but we have never experienced a situation where somebody has to change his faith because of wanting to be accommodated here.
Are you satisfied with the level of support you get from the government and foreign bodies?
The government no doubt is trying but we will still need more. We know the volume of the responsibility that the government has to handle everyday so our own issue should not be seen as been the only challenge they have to handle. As per the international donor agencies we have not benefitted from them yet but we are still praying and hoping that one day things will work in our favour.
What is the population of the people here?
We have close 3000 people here.
How does your wife see this your assignment considering that it could be hazardous?
One should not marry a person who does not share the same vision with him. Anything you do God bring forth a person who will not only support him but could also interprete the vision clearly.