The Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has discovered over 3,900 ghost Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on the state payroll in the IDP camp set-up by government at Mohammed Goni College of Islamic Legal Studies in Maiduguri, the state capital.
As gathered, the 3900 were members of the 650 households discovered on the manifest containing 1000 households for the camp put up to provide shelter for residents of Abadam local government after insurgents attacked their communities.
In the humanitarian system, a household often consists of at least six persons that were either related through families or chosen to stay together for the purpose of receiving household aids from the government and donor agencies.
Zulum, who visited the camp unannounced at about 1:00 am on Sunday, was said to have immediately directed that the entrance be sealed and supervise a headcount to identify actual IDPs from the council.
In order to put a stop to rampant cases of other residents pretending to be displaced and spend day times within IDP camps to benefit from food share, the governor, an eyewitness said, requested for the manifest to corroborate the headcount.
After the headcount conducted by the governor alongside an official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Air Commodore M. T. Abdullahi, and two commissioners (Agriculture, and Local Government and Emirate Affairs), it was discovered that 450 households were genuine IDPs.
It was further discovered that the ghost IDP often return home at night after dinner had been served, leaving the genuine affected victims within the camp.
Officials who were part of the midnight headcount narrated that the governor was not averse to approving support for any citizen who may be vulnerably in need of food since there was a committee saddled with the responsibility.
An official, who spoke on anonymity, said: “The Governor is vehemently opposed to some residents making dubious claims in other to take what is meant for IDPs while also benefiting from other existing welfare activities that target non IDPs”.