I have said this before; for the umpteenth time, I’ll say it again. The internally displaced persons (IDPs) are either ungrateful gluttons or food and other relief materials meant for them are daily being commandeered by a cabal of greedy camp officials for personal use.
Just yesterday, as always, three trailer-load of food and other relief materials drove into a particular camp. I know it’s not easy to feed a camp of 10 to 20 thousand people, but from what I see oftentimes and given the consistency of the supply, especially by RED-CROSS, the people, if not for gluttony, should not be complaining in a long while henceforth.
In just one week after supply, the IDPs will be heard complaining of hunger and that they are given breakfast around 11am or 12noon and dinner much later with nothing in between. Sometimes they are given (raw) food to cook for themselves due to lack of firewood or water.
The food is usually TUWO (cooked maize flour) swimming inside MIYAN KUKA (soup made with dried baobab leaf) as shown in the picture. No fish, no meat, no protein of any kind for the growing children except when they’re lucky to have beans inside the soup. All relevant stakeholders should not be too busy to let the anomaly go unchecked. The case should be investigated and the needful done to turn the situation around in favour of the IDPs who should be the true beneficiaries.
Another disturbing trend here in Maiduguri is the issuance of tickets to the wrong people. Tickets are fraudulently distributed to people with income or some source of livelihood when they’re originally meant for displaced and homeless persons. On a regular basis, these fraudsters take the tickets to RED-CROSS where they are given relief materials they don’t need (which they end up selling) while the hungry, the naked and homeless languish in abject poverty.
I call on UNICEF, Save the Children, Red Cross and all local and multinational caregivers to do what they must to change this tide…