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Borno governor storms IDP camp, discovers 650 fake displaced households

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BABAGANA Zulum, Borno State governor, on Sunday morning, discovered fake displaced persons at Mohammed Goni College of Islamic Legal Studies, Maiduguri, one of the camps where Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were kept.

From an on-the-spot assessment, he found 650 fake displaced households, but discovered that 450 families were genuine.

The camp houses 1, 000 IDPs from Abadam Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The exercise carried out by Zulum was to check the influx of fake IDPs who would disguise as indigent citizens during the day but vacate the camp at night, only to return the next day.

It was done with support from an official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), M. T. Abdullahi; commissioner for agriculture and natural resources, Bukar Talba; and commissioner for local government and emirate affairs, Adamu Lawan.

According to a statement from the governor’s social media, “Zulum immediately sealed entrance and supervised a headcount to identify actual IDPs, in order to put a stop to rampant cases of dubious residents pretending to be displaced, who spend day times at IDP camps to share food meant for IDPs, and towards the night, they return to their homes to sleep, with some of benefiting from other means through which the state distributes food to vulnerable non IDPs in communities.”

The Boko Haram attacks, which started over a decade ago, have led to scores of casualties and millions of displaced households.

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Borno State accounted for 1.5 million displacements out of 2.6 million cases recorded as of 2019. In Borno State alone, there are 32 official government-run camps for the IDPs, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. While 16 are in the local government areas, the other 16 are in the state capital, Maiduguri.

However, the midnight inspection exercise ended at a few minutes past 1 am after the headcount.

In humanitarian system, according to the officials, a household normally consisted of at least six persons who were either related through families or chosen to stay together for the purpose of receiving household aids.

The officials, who were part of the midnight headcount, criticised residents who had taken advantage of the situation for personal gain.

“…the Governor is vehemently opposed to some residents making dubious claims in order to take what is meant for IDPs while also benefiting from other existing welfare activities that target non-IDPs,” the statement read.

Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Email address: [email protected] Twitter handle: @OluAdanikin

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