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800,000 Borno IDPs battle for survival after food shortages hit camps

By Idowu Abdullahi,

As human race usher in New Year across the globe, the fate of over 800,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) scattered across camps in eleven towns in Borno State hang in the balance as food and other essentials shortage bite harder.

While some wallow in abundance, others like those occupying different IDPs camps across Borno are said to be in critical need food supplies and other essentials needed for survival.

Worried by the precarious situation, the state’s Governor, Babagana Zulum, visited the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) office in Abuja to demand food supplies for his citizens battling survival after they were displaced by Boko Haram terrorists from their ancestral homes.

Speaking yesterday at the NEMA Headquarters, informed the agency’s Director-General, AVM Muhammadu Mohammed (rtd) that IDPs in Monguno, Bama, Damboa, Gwoza, Dikwa, Gamboru, Ngala, Damasak, Banki, Pulka and Gajiram currently need urgent access to food supplies.

He argued that despite the sustained efforts by his administration, which combines humanitarian challenges with addressing other basic needs across the state, that government was getting overwhelmed by shortage of food supplies across the camps during such times when the IDPs should be in festive mood.

According to him, food interventions have to be sustained because whereas majority of IDPs rely on agriculture as means of livelihood, substantial portions of them cannot access their farmlands due to insurgents.

The governor, however, acknowledged interventions made by NEMA, the Northeast Development Commission and far reaching efforts by the Nigerian Customs Service following Presidential directive two years ago, that food seizures be used for humanitarian support in crises areas.

Responding, Muhammed commended Zulum’s commitment on rebuilding Borno, saying
with his hard work and dedication, every state in the country would like to have him as their governor.

“If you go into Maiduguri, you will be shocked, you wouldn’t believe you are in Maiduguri. I have been to Maiduguri with a special assistant to Mr President from a particular state, he looked at me and said, can you please borrow this Zulum of a man to us? I am sure every state will like to have this gentleman Professor as a Governor.

“If there is one gentleman everybody envies, whether they are able to do what he does or not, it is Professor Zulum. And the simple fact is that we all know what is right and what is wrong is wrong and what is right can only be achieved with the fear of God” AVM Muhammadu said.

The DG assured Zulum of the agency’s support to Borno state, particularly in the actualization of Borno’s 25 year development plan unveiled recently.

“Your Excellency, every staff of NEMA is willing at all time to give you 100% support in everything you need. You have been very hard. I assure you that the President, Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces has given us the mandate, he has given us the resources and has said it many times to do everything possible to support what you do, and key into the Borno State 25 year development plan” the DG added.

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