IDPs in Maiduguri say: We’ re starving!
From Nana Muhammad, Maiduguri
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has dismissed the protest by the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, living in Teachers Village Camp, in Maiduguri, saying itwas never caused by hunger and lack of food supplies.
A statement by the Head Media and Public Relations of the Agency, Sani Datti said the protest was actually caused by interruption of profiling exercise of the IDPs by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who arrived the camp to extend their humanitarian support.
The statement stated that there is no way hunger and lack of food could be the reason behind IDPs taking to the streets to protest.
This is however, contrary to the claim by the IDPs who said they have been asked to provide their Permanent Voter Cards by the aid workers, before they could be allowed to have access to food and other basic human needs.
To express their displeasure over the decision to ‘present your PVC and get food,’ many of them took to the streets of Maiduguri to protest, resulting to destruction of politicians billboards and causing traffic jam as they threw stones on passersby.
The protesting IDPs came in numbers around the Airport Road within the state capital and the Maiduguri – Kano Road thereby causing heavy traffic jams.
The IDPs further said that they have been displaced from their homes in Baga by the Boko Haram and “coming here again we were asked to show our PVCs before we could be allowed into the camp, and we do not have these. It took the intervention by our leaders before we were given access to the camp and today again, we are requested to provide our PVCs before we could get food.
“Hunger and starvation are killing us; we do not have an option than to protest and clearly express our displeasure,” according to Yafati Bukar, one of the protesting IDPs.
Officials of NEMA are however, saying that the agency has continued to provide food items monthly to the camps, IDPs in host community and liberated areas of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, rejecting the claim that the protest was over hunger and starvation in camps.
The official statement added that the last distribution of food in camps was on the 15th of January, 2018 for all the households and was meant to last for a month.