By Ndahi Marama
MAIDUGURI—Less than 24 hours after Alhaji Aliko Dangote and a popular world musician, Mr. Paul David Hewson, popularly known as Bono, visited IDP camps in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, hundreds of aggrieved Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, from Bakassi camp, yesterday, stormed the streets in protest, barricading Maiduguri-Biu road in the metropolis.
The IDPs alleged poor feeding and ill-treatment by government and other humanitarian agencies.
The IDPs, who, though were peaceful in their protest, said they were not satisfied with a situation where a family of three or four people would be given same amount of foodstuff as a family of 10 or 15, blaming the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, for the poor arrangement.
It took the quick intervention of state government officials and North-East Coordinator of NEMA, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar, to douse the tension.
Reacting to the protest, Mohammed Bashir Tarbari, who is the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Kashim Shettima on Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Social Media, said the ongoing IDPs protest in camps was instigated by a group of politicians with deep rooted prejudice against the administration of Governor Kashim Shettima to cause disaffection.
He said: “It has come to the notice of the government that the disgruntled and desperate politicians for self-centredness use some vulnerable people at various internally displaced persons camps to cause conflict between the authorities and the respective communities by instigating them to protest on unfounded allegations, with regards to their feeding system.
“It must be realised that in a situation as this, where hundreds and thousands of internally displaced persons are being catered for, there might be minor mistakes which do not erode the good intentions of the authorities to give the best possible to the affected. Besides, there will always be room for improvement.
“Now that peace is gradually returning to Borno and elsewhere, it behoves on us all as patriotic people to work in harmony for the people and not to aggravate the situation to cause further untold hardship on the people.
“Therefore, the people of Borno, especially those in the internally displaced persons’ camps, should be wary of some unscrupulous politicians or individuals who may wish to use them for their personal agenda or to settle political scores.
“It has become imperative for all to know that the era of impunity is over and it behoves on the law enforcement agencies to bring sanity to the entire system by bringing to book the trouble makers and masterminds of violence, irrespective of their status in the society.
“Borno State government would continue to discharge its responsibility and mandate to all against all odds.”
Bakassi has a population of 152,000 IDPs from Nganzai, Monguno, Gwoza and other local government areas of the state.