IDPs: Borno elders appeal for more food

The Borno Elders Forum (BOEF) on Wednesday made a passionate appeal to Nigerians and international donor agencies to come to the aid of over 2.6 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) with “humanitarian and rehabilitation” assistance, before they return to their respective liberated communities this year.

The forum made the appeal at a news conference held by its chairman, Amb. Usman Galtimari at the Government House, Maiduguri.

He said the appeal was to enable the IDPs fend for themselves.

“Our appeal for support are in the areas of food items, clothing, medicine, education and other forms of funds to enable the IDPs fend for themselves, instead of being fed in camps and host communities,” said Galtimari.

He said that any individual or donor agency that wants to donate should be known to the Borno state government.

“Donors can administer their donations, but may need to make this known to our leaders, so that more protection would be provided for effective distribution to displaced persons,” he said, pointing that those entrusted with items or funds for IDPS should fear God.

He noted that it is unfortunate that the plight of the IDPs has become a means for unscrupulous elements to make quick cash.

Galtimari said, “It is most unfortunate that people use the misfortune of our distressed persons to advertise their Non-Governmental Organisation for personal gains. In the process, they deliberately distort information, thereby discrediting the efforts of genuine helpers and our Government. For now, things are becoming very difficult. Our people did not partake in farming activities for the past three years.

“Even this year; farming activity in most areas cannot take place. To make matters worse, of recent, the cost of food items are rising on a daily basis. There are cries of food shortages not only in IDPs camps; but the general public despite sustained Government efforts through National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State’s Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).”

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