In Borno Why thousands of hungry IDPs ended 3-hour protest

Earlier, the protesters mounted barricades of stones, sticks and tires which caused massive traffic jam along the Kano-Maiduguri highways.

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Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno State play

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno State

(Guardian)
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Hungry Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri, Borno State, who took to the streets protesting poor feeding in their camps have suspended the demostration.

The angry IDPs, mostly women and children ended the protest after the state government dissolved the committee in charge of their feeding.

Earlier, the protesters mounted barricades of stones, sticks and tires which caused massive traffic jam along the Kano-Maiduguri highways, the main entry point into the city.

“We are being treated like slaves here in the camp,” said Zakari Modu, a 32-year-old man from Marte.

“We are only given a bag of rice to be shared among 15 people and that is to last for a month. Every three days the feeding committee will come and make tea and give each household just a cup to share. This is inhuman and we felt we deserve better treatment.”

The IDPs, who lost their house and means of livelihood as a result of the incessant Boko Haram attacks in the north east, said they now monitor  all food allocation to State via the radio receivers recently distributed to them by a new radio house that opened office in Maiduguri.

“So how could they tell us there is no food. Each time the governor is to visit the camp they would rush down here to make things appear normal and no problems; but if the governor leaves we are left on our own. So we are tired of these cheating and wickedness,” Maimuna Bukar, a mother of four said.

“We are not fighting with government; all we want is food to feed our family. If they cant give us food, let them let us go back to our villages instead of being left to be killed by hunger here.”

The State Deputy governor, Usman Durkwa, accompanied by the state police commissioner, Demian Chukwu, arrived the scene to plead with the IDPs after about three hours of protest.

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The protesters were calm and vacated the highways after Durwa announced to them that the camp feeding committee has been disbanded.

“We want to assure you that government’s foremost interest is to see that all of you are well taken care of; but since you are not happy with the conduct of the committee, we have hereby disbanded the committee and henceforth we shall supply you with food items directly to cook for your selves. There is no more kitchen feeding in the committee; we are now going to allow household feeding for you,” said the deputy governor.

The IDPs have severally accused the committee of mismanaging and sabotaging the food system.

Durwa assured them that a truck of grains and other food items would be deployed to the camp before he left the premises.