Probing Activities Of IDP Workers In North-East | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Probing Activities Of IDP Workers In North-East

Borno, State governor, Kashim Shettima,
Posted: Jun 29, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Augustine Adah

Lagos –  The recent disclosure by Mr. Mohammed Safieldin United Nations (UN) humanitarian coordinator to Nigeria that about 200,000 children in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across North-east are at risk of dying from malnutrition reinforced several allegations that government officials and some nongovernmental  organisations working in the camps are diverting materials meant for the displaced persons for personal use.
Safieldin who made the shocking disclosure at an emergency meeting with donor agencies and Borno State government further stated that unless there is urgent response from donors, there is the risk of losing five children in a day.
Alhaji Idris Kyari Abubakar, national president, North East Youth Peace and Empowerment Initiative has urged the federal government to urgently set up a committee to investigate how relief materials donated by humanitarian organisations and government agencies are distributed to the people. Abubakar who stated he was displeased with the condition of women and children in many of the IDPs visited further stated that he suspected that those officials working in IDPs camps are shortchanging the people they supposed to help.
He said, “I was not in one of the camps and many children and women came to tell me that they have not eaten anything since in the morning.
“What I am telling you happened at about 4pm. I don’t think government would like to keep the children hungry to that extent.”
The situation he said has led to many of them resorting to different kind of crimes like stealing and prostitutions in the camps. Abubakar urged international and local agencies to intensify more efforts in channeling aids to the displaced persons in the region. “If you can visit any of these camps whether in Borno, Adamawa or Yobe to see what these people are going through, you would not know when tears would start running out from your eyes.”
Similarly, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, national president, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has expressed disappointment  on the manner some people  has turned the  plights of those who escaped from Boko Haram bullets to a money spinning business.
He said, “It sad that some people are using human sufferings to make money.” He urged the governor of Borno, other states of North-east to cooperate with both international and local donors to ensure that the money and materials donated for the wellbeing of the internally displaced persons are properly utilised.
Shettima further stated that it is unwise for  both international and local donor agencies to continue making donations without ensuring that such items and money get to the right people at the right time.
Investigation by Independent revealed that some of the food items and other materials donated for the up keep of the internally displaced persons have their ways into open market and shops in Borno Adamawa and Yobe states.
The report by Safieldin  has already attracted response from both the federal and Borno State government. For instance, President Muhammadu Buhari had met with government official for further briefing on the matter. President Buhari who was not happy with the development, want explanation from those involved as the photography showed by Doctors without Borders showing malnourished children in IDPs is an embarrassment to the government that is doing everything possible to bring relief to the displaced persons in camps across north-east.
Independent gathered that officials of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)   had a meeting with President Buhari last Sunday where the president demanded explanations from them. Already, Prof. Issac Adewole, minister of health has sent a team to Maiduguri following  Safieldin’s report  and  that of   Doctors without Borders that about 24,000 IDPs were in were in dire need of health facilities as 30 people mostly children dies every day.
This came as Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole directed that a team proceeded to Borno State following report that eight children were dying daily from malnutrition in the state. Adewole gave the directive to Dr Abdusalami Nasidi, director-general, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on the inaugural meeting of the governing Board of the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Disease Control in Abuja.
Adewole said “NCDC needs to as a matter of urgency, dispatch a rapid emergency team to Borno state. There is a nutritional emergency in Borno State where it is been reported that eight children stand the risk of dying every day if nothing is done to arrest the situation.
“President  Muhammad Buhari has given a directive and so this is my first assignment to you. There is need to dispatch an emergency team to Borno State.”
About two weeks ago, the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, paid a visit to Bama camp upon receiving reports that hundreds of malnourished persons recently rescued from Boko Haram captivity were dying in a camp in Bama, 75 kilometre from Maiduguri, the state capital.
Shettima ordered the relocation of 61 heavily underfed children to the intensive care unit of the Umaru Shehu Ultramodern Hospital in Maiduguri, where they are currently being treated. Another set of over 400 persons with lesser cases of malnourishment were also moved out of the camp to a special care unit for proper feeding and medication.
But before the Governor’s visit to Bama, dozens of the IDPs had died of hunger-induced ailments, an official said. Meanwhile, Professor Isaac Adewole directed an emergency team to Borno State Borno State following report that eight children were dying daily from malnutrition in that state.  Observers are worried that despite donations from Non Governmental Organisations (NGO), philanthropists and government agencies, those in IDPs in north-east continue to face malnutrition. About two weeks ago, Aliko Dangote, a business mogul donated about 106 trucks of food items for those in IDPs in north-east.  The donation Independent gathered was in addition to over N2billion earlier committed to the welfare of those in IDPs across north-east of the country. Last month, Japan and United States for International Agency ( USAID) donated $1.5m and $240m  to help both children and women in IDPs located in the north.