IDPs accuse officials of food diversion

Maiduguri, March 12, 2017 (TNE): Hungry and angry, a section of internally displaced persons in Maiduguri on Sunday sent an SOS to Governor Kashim Shettima, urging him to urgently intervene by ensuring that the quantity of food released to them by government actually gets to them , and timely too.

Spokesperson for the IDPs, Hajia Falmata Bukar told newsmen at their camp in Maiduguri, that the food reduction and delay had caused starvation in many families and turned them into beggars.

”I want to commend the Federal Government for its numerous efforts in ensuring our welfare; I also thank the State Government for its support to the IDPs,” Bukar said.

She observed, however, that officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), entrusted with sharing the food, have been frustrating government efforts in ensuring proper feeding at the camps.

She claimed that the officials had failed to supply food to the IDPs for several weeks in spite of complaints.

“For the past six weeks, we have not got food supplies in this camp, referring to the Teachers’ Village camp.

“They rushed in some supplies when they realised that officials of the UN Security Council were coming on a visit,”  Bukar said.

“When they abolished the centralised cooking for the IDPs, we were very happy, because we thought every IDP will now get enough food to feed his family.

“But sadly enough, the problem has not abated as the food ration usually supplied to households is grossly inadequate.

”How do you expect a family of six to survive for one month with a 25 kg bag of rice and two litre of cooking oil. This is grossly inadequate”, she said.

Malam Musa Bello, another IDP, said the best option was to hand over the camp to the World Food Programme (WFP).

”We want the state government to allow the WFP to take over the feeding in the camp, like the case in some camps, because the IDPs being fed by the WFP are 100 times better than us.

“I think the only solution to the problem of poor feeding in IDP camps is for government to sack the management of SEMA and appoint fresh hands,” Bello suggested.

SEMA Chairman, Malam Ahmad Satomi, however, denied the allegation, saying ”none of our officials has ever engaged in flood diversion in camps”.

“The IDPs will always complain no matter what you give them, as most of them sell their food ration as soon as they are given and continue to complain of hunger,” Satome said.. (TNE)

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