The federal government has directed that N1 billion worth of foodstuffs be distributed to the three states currently under emergency rule – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe – to alleviate the sufferings of residents and in the spirit of the Ramadan fast.
Minister of state for agriculture, Tijjani Bukar, who is to supervise the distribution of the food items, said that President GoodluckJonathan was very concerned about the sufferings of the people in the region and has insisted that the food items get to everyafftected Nigerian regardless of their political, religious or tribal leaning.
Bukar said that in Borno State, the foodstuffs would be shared across 3928 units and would be coordinated by the Kanem BornoFoundation with voluntary supports from religious bodies, civil society organizations, the security and the Civilian JTF.
The minister said each of the units are expected to get at least 45 bags of the assorted grains ‘depending on the size of the units’.
“We have put a mechanism that would minimize diversion that is why we are involving the Civilian-JTF, to monitor the exercise to ensure that it is not abused or hijacked,” he said.
Boko Haram insurgents have driven about 19 000 rice farmers fromBorno State, while a military crackdown is preventing others from working on their fields and over 20,000 residents have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries like Niger and Cameroon
The senator representing Borno Central, Zannah Ahmed, had raised an alarm over acute shortage of necessities such as food, medical facilities and water in Barga and Gwaza areas and had appealed to the federal Government to intervene.