By Yahaya WAKILI, Maiduguri
Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital said that food supply to them and other needful are being diverted by government officials and politicians in the state adding that such act has denied them access to food that build the body and help in resistance of sicknesses and other diseases in the camp.
A group of IDPs from Gwoza recently relocated to the Bakassi camp but refused to go told Our Correspondent that they refused to go back to camps because there was not enough food for them as they are being fed only once daily and the food that is meant particularly to nursing mothers and children are being diverted.
Audu Nglavda, one of the IDPs, who said, they now leave in uncompleted buildings across Maiduguri since they were asked to leave the schools where they have been camping before government decided to relocate them to Bakassi camp told journalists that, they are better on the street than the camps where they are kept as prisoners.
“Now we can go out and look for job and come back without anybody harassing us. The little we can have to eat is better and timely than what we have to be waiting for at the camp where we are being treated like animals and only given one meal for a day”, he said.
Speaking on why they did not return to their villages since the military claimed to have recovered the area, he said, “those statements are more of political to us. There was a camp in Pulka at the junction to the road leading to ‘Bayan dutse’ and another camp in GWOZA town. Those are the only places we know people are being kept under the watchful eye of the military. Other places along ‘Bayan Dutse’ are yet to be liberated as we speak and those of us from there cannot go back if we want to be alive.”
Another member of the group, Malam Diya Umar said, children who died in the camp as reported in the media died as a result of lack of body building food for the mothers and the children.
“If you visit the homes of some of the government officials in this town, you will know exactly what we are talking about. The water they would give you as visitor is from NEMA, the milk they use is from NEMA, the rice and maize they eat is from NEMA, everything from NEMA and I ask who are the IDPs, if everything that are meant for IDPs find their way to the stores and tables of government officials and politicians? We do go to their houses and we find it hard to believe that these people are just using us for their selfish gains. Personally, this is what made me to refuse going back to IDP camp”, Umar said.
The group said, although some of them went back to GWOZA to join with the other IDPs in Pulka and GWOZA town, they chose to remain within the state capital because they are not confident that the situation back home warrant them to take such a decision until they are very sure GWOZA is safe for them to return home.