By Ali Inuwa
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno on Monday appealed to the State Government to improve current arrangements made for their feeding.
Some of the IDPs told newsmen at the Teacher’s Village camp in Maiduguri, that current feeding arrangement in the camp was not favourable to them.
The IDPs particularly accused the State Emergency Management Agency [SEMA] of diverting food meant for them.
One of the inmates, Hajja Falmata Bukar noted that the commendable efforts of the Federal and Borno Governments in providing adequate food for their feeding were being frustrated by the SEMA officials.
“We all know that the Federal Government had been supplying large quantities of food for the feeding of the IDPs. The State Government has also been trying.
“But the problem has to do with SEMA officials who are entrusted with the tasks of sharing the food to people living in the camps,” she said.
According to her, SEMA officials have not supplied food to the IDPs for several weeks in spite of complaints.
“For the past six weeks we have not gotten food supplies in this camp.
“They rushed in some supplies when they realized that officials of the UN Security Council were coming on a visit,” Bukar claimed.
She said that even then, the food supplied was inadequate.
“When they abolished the centralized cooking for the IDPs, we were very happy, because we thought every IDP will now get enough food to feed his family.
“But sadly, the problem has not abated as the food ration usually supplied to households is grossly inadequate,” Bukar said.
She added:” How do you expect a family of six to survive for one month with a 25 kg bag of rice and two liter of cooking oil. This is grossly inadequate”.
Malam Jumai Maisalati another IDP corroborated the claim saying that the problem had forced some IDPs to beg for food outside the camp to survive.
“Many of us have turned into beggars because we have to get food to feed our children,” Maisalati said.
She accused officials in charge of sharing the food of engaging in stealing.
“They have been diverting food meant for the IDPs to the market.
“We are appealing to the governor to intervene and ensure Justice,” Maisalati said.
Mallam Musa Bello, another IDP said the best option was to handover the camp to the World Food Program (WFP).
“We want the State Government to allow the WFP take over the feeding in the camp, like the case in some camps.
“I am saying this because the IDPs been fed by the WFP are hundred times better than us,” Bello. said.
He also called for the removal of top management of SEMA, accusing them of mismanagement.
“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 a new one”.
Reacting to the claims, the SEMA Chairman, Mallam Ahmad Satomi denied the allegation of diversion of food items meant for IDPs.
“The allegation is untrue, none of our officials have ever engaged in flood diversion in camps.
“The IDPs will always complain no matter what you give them, most of them sell their food ration as soon as they are given and continue to complain of hunger,” Satome said.