Bauchi State Chairman of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, Buba Shehu has berated officials of the state government over the alleged diversion of 11 trucks of food items meant for his 50,000 members affected by the Boko Haram crisis in the Northeast.
Mr Shehu, who spoke in an interview with Daily Post on Wednesday, said it is now exactly two years after the government allegedly stopped providing food items to IDPs in the State.
“We learnt that government has diverted about 11 trucks of food items meant for IDPs in Bauchi State stored by the federal government through NEMA and SEMA to undisclosed destination while IDPs are suffering in poverty,” he alleged.
The IDPs chairman stated that the non-provision of food items has caused untold hardship to his members while others have been dislodged out of their rented apartment by landlords.
He also stated that hundreds of IDPs’ children have dropped out of school as the parents cannot pay their fees.
Alleging that some government officials recently re-bagged food items meant for IDPs and diverted same to undisclosed destinations, Shehu urged the federal and state governments to look deeply into the plights of IDPs in the Northeast region.
However, responding to the allegations, the Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency, Shehu Ningi confirmed the diversion incident.
He disclosed that about 6,600 tons of food items were recently conveyed from Bauchi stores to Borno state upon the approval of Governor Mohammed Abubakar based on an undertaking with the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
Mr Ningi stressed that the request to transport the food items followed recent increase of IDPs in Borno State as a result of the rising spate of attacks on communities there.
He said, “It’s true that about 6,600 tones of food items were transported to Borno state from Bauchi stores on the basis of an undertaken by NEMA after the Governor’s approval after which it will be replaced in due course.”
Mr Ningi insisted that the Bauchi State government was doing its best regarding the plights of IDPs to better their living, as he urged the displaced persons to exercise patience.