About 25,000 metric tons assorted food have been ordered released by President Goodluck Jonathan from the national strategic grains reserves to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa which are under emergency rule.
The President also approval of the sum of N250 million for the purchase of rice, cooking oil and other accessories to be distributed to the people of the three states.
The minister of state for finance,Yerima Ngama who disclosed this to journalists in Damaturu last weekend said that presidential order was given because of incessant reports of food shortages in the affected states.
Ngama stated that he and his agriculture ministry counterpart,Tijani Bukar, took a report to the President on the food situation in the three states which immediately elicited Jonathan;s reaction.
The minister said that the step was taken particularly to assist people of the three states get adequate food supplies as Ramadan approached, adding that the federal government was aware that the people of the affected states had been suffering untold hardship because of the restriction of movements imposed by emergency rule.
Ngama said the grains that would be released include maize, millet and guinea corn and that in all there would be a total of 930 trailers(over half a million bags)of food stuff.
He explained that because of the large quantity of grains to be moved, for logistic reasons, it will be distributed in batches.
In the first batch, 399 bags or 665 trailer loads will be released to the affected states. Of this consignment, Borno state, the largest and worse hit by terrorist attacks would get 324 trailer loads, Yobegets 195 trailer loads while Adamawa takes the least of 170 trailer loads.
In Yobe state for instance, Ngama said that all the 178 wards will be given a trailer load of food while the remaining will be shared to civil servants, police, army and other organizations on the state.
While breaking the good news, the minister admonished those who would be involved in the distribution of the items not to politiciisethe process.
“We are giving this food not because we are PDP but because of God. I am calling on all the people of my state to come and collect the food. It does not matter whether you are PDP or any other political party. Nobody will discriminate in the sharing of the food”, he said.
The minister said that the distribution process would also be aided by security men in order to maintain order and ensure equitable sharing of all the items.
He noted that all security agencies with Aid groups will be involved to ensure a hitch free distribution of the food.