…as NEMA insists protest not because of hunger
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Tuesday dismissed as misleading reports alleging that some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) staged a demonstration to protest lack of food at the Teachers’ Village IDPs camp in Maiduguri.
In a statement, Mr Sani Datti, the Head of Media and Public Relations of the agency, said that the protest was not triggered by lack of food and starvation in the camp, but rather due to the suspension of registration of the displaced persons by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Datti said: “for record and purpose of clarity, though there was protest by some IDPs living in Teachers Village Camp, Maiduguri, it was never caused by hunger or lack of food supplies.
“The protest was actually caused by interruption of profiling exercise of the IDPs by International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), who were at the camp to extend their humanitarian support to complement the effort of partners.
“Consequently, some people outside made attempt to be enumerated and this prompted some IDPs in the camp to chase them away and it resulted in commotion and riot.
“However, the situation has been immediately brought under control by the security operatives stationed at the camp and normalcy restored,” Datti said.
Datti said that the agency had continued to provide food items monthly to the IDPs in camps, host communities and liberated areas in Borno and Adamawa States.
According to him, the agency had conducted the monthly food distribution exercise at the camp on January 15, 2019, for the households, adding that the food ration was expected to sustain the households for one month.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some aggrieved IDPs staged a demonstration on Tuesday in Maiduguri, to protest alleged lack of food and shelter at the camp.
Hundreds of the displaced persons took to the streets, blocked the Maiduguri-Kano Road, and destroyed bill boards and campaign posters of political parties candidates mounted by the road.
It took the intervention of the police, military and other security operatives to disperse the protesting IDPs.
The protesters were taking refuge at the camp since January, sequel to the displacement of households from their homes due to Boko Haram insurgents’ attack in Baga and adjourning communities in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno.
A cross section of the protesting IDPs said that they were demonstrating over lack of food and shelter in the camp since their arrival about 40 days ago.