Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has called for the immediate prosecution of suspects arrested for alleged stealing of bags of rice meant for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the state.
In a statement issued by spokesman of the governor Isa Gusau, Shettima directed the state’s commissioner of police to expedite action on the issue of the officials of an IDP camp who were reportedly caught by occupants of the camp while trying to steal about 50 bags of rice.
He insisted that if found guilty, the culprits should be sentenced to jail immediately.
Reports had it that hundreds of IDPs on Tuesday morning apprehended an official of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, BOSEMA, over alleged theft of food items meant for displaced persons at the Bakassi IDP camp.
Four other officials of the agency were subsequently arrested by the police after the IDPs held them.
Governor Shettima noted that the food items was procured by the Borno State Government with support from the World Food Programme for the feeding of IDPs in the month of December, pending supplies from NEMA.
The statement further read: “Governor Shettima approved funds for the food stuff at the IDPs camp and he is deeply pained by this development.
“The Governor regards any attempt to divert food meant for IDPs as a crime against humanity which must not go unpunished.
The Governor has promptly asked the Commissioner of Police in Borno State to expedite action that should ensure the prosecution of anyone arrested whether officials or anybody at all, in order to secure conviction by the court.”
According to the governor’s spokesman, Shettima would like the culprits to be sent to jail as a deterrent to others who might be involved in similar acts.
Gusau stated further: “The Governor assures Internally Displaced Persons that his administration will continue to take measures that would enhance their welfare.
“As part of these measures, the Bakassi IDP camp where the incident was said to have occurred, has between 3 to 4 Divisional Police Officers of the respective local government areas living at the camp.”
He explained that the idea of having D.P.Os and policemen living at the IDP camps “was part of measures introduced by Governor Shettima since 2014 in order to maximize security of lives and property as well as the protection of human rights across all IDPs camps and other parts of Borno State.”