Displaced Persons Narrate How Officials Steal Donated Food Items


Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Borno State, have narrated how officials in various IDP camps continuously steal and sell food meant for them.

PREMIUM TIMES reports that in Dalori camp, in Borno State, the occupants alleged that officials keep them in hunger and deprivation while food items donated to them were being stolen from the stores at night and sold in the open marke.

They narrated their ordeal during a visit by the wife of the Borno State Governor, Nana Shettima, who visited some IDP camps on Tuesday to monitor the special feeding system for minors which was introduced last week after a Senate committee led by Oluremi Tinubu visited the camps.

The visiting senators donated N2 million to boost the feeding of the inmates especially children under the age of seven.

The IDPs, however, used the opportunity of the Governor’s wife’s visit to speak on the hardship they were going through.

One of the occupants of the Dalori camp, Woroma Tijjani, said the food being dished out to them was grossly insufficient.

“The measure of grains or rice they give a family, for two or three days aren’t enough for just a day,” he said.

“But everyday at night we see them sneaking out our food and taking them outside.”

Another IDP, Fatima Uba, acknowledged that the amount of food items that are donated to the camp should be enough “but they won’t bring out enough food for us to cook and eat.”

“The women in the kitchen won’t give us the raw food items to cook by ourselves. Instead, they would rather cook in the kitchen and then dish out portions that won’t be enough for us to feed.

“At night they usually connive with the store officials who would sneak out the food at night and the women would go to sell them for N800 a measure in the market,” she said.

Uba added that efforts to report the situation to higher authorities had yielded no result “because they make so much money from the sales.”

Ibrahim Ali, a retired local government worker who also stays in the IDP Camp noted that, “it might be very difficult to stop them because the system is corrupted.”

“They always know how to cover their dirty tracks here in the camp because government officials lack the routine inspection system.”

Ali said the corrupt officials always know when an investigation or inspection team is visiting, and they would quickly make things up, adding that “We don’t always get access to the top officials each time they come here.”



    Recall that In August, the IDPs staged a protest in Maiduguri, over the poor feeding in the camps. The protest led the Borno State Government to introduce the household feeding system which allows beneficiaries to cook their own food after receiving uncooked portions from camp officials.

    Officials managing IDP camps in the Northeast have always denied allegations of diverting food.

    Last week, an international Non-Governmental Organisation, Medicines Sans Frontier, also known as Doctors without borders, issued a statement, warning that unless urgent steps were taken to address the alarming food shortages faced by IDPs in Borno State, Nigeria may soon be faced with a humanitarian crisis that is worse than the Boko Haram violence.

    A day later, UNICEF released a similar statement, saying that “an estimated 400,000 children under five of age are at risk of acute malnutrition in Northeastern Nigeria” if urgent steps were not taken.

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