- Some of the internally displaced persons in Borno have explained why they protested in Maiduguri on Tuesday, February 5
- The displaced persons said they were always being shortchanged by officials of the camp
- They also that their welfare and major needs were being neglected by government at both state and federal level
Internally displaced persons from Baga camp on Tuesday, February 5, took to the streets of Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno state.
The protesters during the incident, barricaded a major highway - Maiduguri/Kano Expressway to register their displeasure.
Premium Times reports that the protest were based on allegations of hunger and poor treatment of the displaced persons by officials of the Shettima Ali Monguno Teachers Village camp who handle their welfare.
Some of the displaced person who spoke on the matter said trouble started in the camp when officials of the International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) visited the location to distribute food and relief items.
The protesters said, the visit by the ICRC officials was the first time they received food items from any group since the past 30 days.
According to them, the government only gave them food ration of a measure of rice and beans and some cooking condiments.
They said they have overtime being abandoned by both the state and the federal government despite the inadequacy of the rations made available.
It was also gathered that the officials of the international agency used records collated by some officials of the camp and this did not go well with the dwellers.
An aged woman, Rakiya Abubakar said, the displaced persons were not happy when the ICRC officials came to announce their mode of items distribution.
“When the Red Cross (ICRC) came to announce that they would be sharing food for us, we were happy because the hunger has been too much to bear.
“But when the ICRC officials arrived they started telling us that we have to identify our Bulamas (village heads) in the camp and that it is through them the food ration card will be issued before we begin to get the food supply.
“We said that will not be possible because we have confirmed cases of how the officials use the same register to favour their relatives who are not residing within the camp,” said the mother of nine children," Abubakar said.
With that the displaced persons alleged that the distribution of items in the camp is usually corrupted by the local officials hence they demanded to be treated directly.
Also, another displaced person, Esther John, said there had been existing anger among dwellers over ration card method as they were always shortchanged.
According to Esther, the distribution by the ICRC only triggered the anger.
“The attempt to short-change us in the Red Cross food distribution simply fired the anger that has been there. It is not our fault that we are chased out of our homes by Boko Haram.
“We were dumped here and left to live and sleep in places not fit for animals. Look at women, nursing mothers and those that have just delivered living in the open as if they are not human beings.
“We were given only two measures - one of rice and the other beans, and some condiments, which cannot even take one for a week. We were told that it was for a month. Everyone here is starving and the government left us like that.
“Now that the Red Cross came in to help, and we insisted to be treated directly, they said it has to be through the village head. And we don’t trust the village head because they have not been sincere with the way they share food or meal ticket in camps," Esther said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that hundreds of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Fufore and Malkohi camps in Adamawa staged peaceful protests over lack of food in their camps.
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The IDPs, mostly women and children, on Wednesday, March 7, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in their plight.
Adamawa has only two designated camps managed by NEMA and they are situated at Fufore and Malkohi villages with a total number of about 3,000 IDPs.
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