By Ali Inuwa/Maiduguri
Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday in Maiduguri inaugurated the distribution of 30,000 metric tonnes of cereal to victims of Boko Haram insurgency under the Federal Government Emergency Food Intervention for the North East.
Osinbajo said the distribution of the food items would be made quarterly in all states in the North East and will be done door-to-door.
He arrived Maiduguri hours after some three Boko Haram bombers killed themselves and some of their gunmen engaged Nigerian military on the outskirts of the city. Fifteen persons died in the shootout.
Osinbajo told his audience: “I am here to flag off what will be a quarterly food distribution to Internally Displayed Persons (IDPs).
” By this, we are saying to our brothers and sisters in the Northeast that our country does not take their burdens lightly and we are not blind to their difficulties.
The acting president pointed out that the cereals to be distributed under the programme were locally sourced.
“I am particularly pleased to say that the cereals that we are distributing comprising sorghum, rice, beans etc are all grown by our local farmers.
“This has been the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari for us to grow what we eat and eat what we grow,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said that the distribution would be handled by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
“The food items would be distributed by officials of NEMA in partnership with State Emergency Management Agencies and our friends from the International Humanitarian Agencies,’’ he said.
According to Osinbajo, the food items will be distributed from house to house so that beneficiaries will not have to wail endlessly on long queues.
“We would depart from the undignified practice of forcing people to queue up for food, rather we will be distributing the food using door to door method.’’
Osinbajo said a voucher system would be used in the distribution for planning purposes.
“We are going to incorporate a voucher system which will make the distribution transparent and improve our data collection system.’’
The ceremony was attended by Governors Kashim Shettima of Borno and Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi.
The governors of Yobe and Gombe were represented at the event, which was also attended by Alhaji Baba Shehuri, the Minister of State for Power and Mr Solomon Dalung the Minister of Sports.
The Acting President on arrival paid a courtesy visit on the Shehu of Borno, Umar Abubakar Gabai Ibn El-Kanemi in his palace.
He told the traditional ruler and members of his Emirate Council that President Buhari sees the welfare of the IDPs as the responsibility of government.
The Shehu of Borno, in response, thanked President Buhari for his commitment to the restoration of peace in the State and entire region. He lauded the efforts of the Buhari Presidency at recovering the kidnapped Chibok girls and attending to the welfare of IDPs across the region.
The Acting President inspected the consignment of about 30,000 metric tonnes to be delivered across the region by 1,032 trucks. The distribution is for affected persons in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe States.
Prof Osinbajo during the visit also inspected some facilities such as the NEMA warehouse, the Bakassi IDP camp office and the premises of School A located within the camp.