Zulum Raises Qur’an Against Dubious, Greedy IDPs, Govt Officials on Distribution of Food and Non Food Items to IDPs in Monguno....
Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum on Monday went spiritual in Monguno where he had so far spent two days, coordinating, supervising and trying to sanitize the distribution of food items to one hundred and ninety thousand and fifty internally displaced persons, majority of them from Marte, Kukawa, Mobbar, Guzamala and Monguno local government areas of northern part of the state.
In Zulum's presence, a copy of Qur’an was raised in the traditional way, seeking the wrath of God against the Governor himself, humanitarian workers in the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), government officials and anyone, who diverts food and other relief materials / aids meant for the welfare of the internally displaced persons.
The Oath was also administered against IDPs who develop the habit of collecting multiple rations of food items most of which they sell in markets, depriving other internally displaced persons Opportunities to benefit from the food and non food items Distribution by governennt, NGOs, INGOs and other donors.
It will be recalled that Governor Zulum departed Maiduguri on Sunday morning and arrived Monguno in the evening.
Monguno which is the largest town in northern Borno with majority of the populace as Muslims form part of the state most troubled by Boko haram insurgent attacks.
Monguno is also not far from Baga and Kukawa towns where residents or citizens fled after several and continuous attacks by the insurgents.
It is historical that Monguno came under the occupation of Boko Haram Insurgents in 2013 and 2014 while early this year, the Boko haram insurgents made two failed attempts to sieze military barracks in Monguno.
Zulum had at the weekend ordered the deployment of trailers loaded with varieties of food items especially rice, spaghetti, oil and other condiments ahead of his visit.
The Governor also ordered that a copy of the Qur’an be made available where Sunday night, the Governor held several meetings with officials involved in humanitarian activities and the Chairmen of the 6 Local Government Areas whose citizens are displaced and are in Monguno IDPs camps, Abadam, Marte, Kukawa, Nganzai, Guzamala and Monguno among others.
On Monday, Governor Zulum, at around 6 am, began tour of the 16 camps in Monguno town purposely to ensure that genuine IDPs who spend nights in camps were those to benefit from the food and non food items distribution
In each of the camps, the Governor spent at least an hour, reorganizing and distributing customized tickets to bread winners of households with which the families receive quantities of food to last them for weeks.
Mild drama however took place when hundreds of adult male and female IDPs began to leave queues whenever the oath administraton (acting like a town crier) raised the Qur'an calling on God to punish anyone of them who was in the queue to collect multiple rations of food.
"Listen to me very attentively, Governor Zulum has asked me to announce to you, that from himself as your Governor down to humanitarian officials of SEMA, NEMA, other government officials and anybody, whoever that diverts food meant for IDPs, may the curse of God fall on him or her and pass through the instrumentality of the Qur’an, come upon that person. May the wrath of God come upon anyone who has collected allocation ticket and greedily returned or come here to collect another one or what is meant for others. You all know that food is distributed to households and everyone here is part of a household, if you know you are not the head of a household or that you have already collected your portion, better leave the queue or you will incure the wrath of the Qur’an" the administrator, Babagana, popularly referred to as Babagana, said, raising the Qur’an with his right hand.
As he made the announcements in every camp, surprisingly, some internally displaced persons were seen quickly leaving in numbers, some of them even laughing out of disappointment.
In the past, until the introduction of administration of oath with Holy Quran by Governor Zulum, humanitarian workers have had to contend with problems of food vending by hundreds and thousands of internally displaced persons who collected multiple allocations depriving others of benefitting.
There were also allegations of dubious collaboration between some humanitarian workers and IDPs where under normal circumstances, distribution arrangement of food items are allocated to households comprising a bread winner and 6 other family members or dependants.
The food last for weeks, in some cases and a month in others . Although households have identification cards, some families have long deviced means of collecting more than their allocations.
Some sale the food items to business traders who exploit them by buying the food at give away prices in order to resale at prevailing market prices after re-bagging.
There are instances in which households separate themselves into husband, wife and grown up children as separate individuals rather than households members to dubiously collect more food and non food items.
There are also hundreds of temporary tents in the IDPs camps with internally displaced persons having the freedom to move in and out of the camps in line with international protocol.
Similarly, numbers of the internally displaced persons are often inconsistent, depending on refugees, all of these make managing the IDPs camps more complex and uneasy according to SEMA , NEMA and CJTF and Vigilante Hunters sources at the various IDPs in Monguno and also obtainable in Bama, Dalori, Bakassi, Gubio road housing estate, Stadium, Pulka, Gwoza, Konduga, Gamjiram, Damssak, Tungoshe and others.
However, the Governor has vowed to use his experience as former State Commissioner of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR) ministry to bring some sanity into the system.