IDPs protest poor feeding, block Borno highway

The Borno State Government on Thursday scrapped the central feeding programme of the Internally Displaced Persons in camps in the state.

The decision of the government followed a protest by a  large number of the IDPs on some major roads in Maiduguri, the state campaign over their feeding system.

Hundreds of the displaced persons, the majority of who are women, IDPs took to the streets between 9am and 1pm on Thursday, barricading the Maiduguri-Kano/Jos Road, the major road leading into the town, to protest what they claimed was shortage of food supply at the Arabic Teachers College camp in the state capital.

The protesters obstructed vehicular movement and grounded business activities in the town as commuters were unable to pass.

Some of the protesters who spoke to journalists alleged that foodstuffs had been in short supply as food meant for them were diverted by officials.

They called for the removal of the members of the central feeding committee.

The protesters chanted, “We’re hungry and we don’t want any feeding committee again because they aren’t giving us quality food. Give us our foods directly.”

The protesters also refused to accept several appeals by the police to disperse from the road until the arrival of the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Durkwa, who doused the tension.

Durkwa, who was returning from another IDPs camp in the capital to supervise feeding of displaced persons, announced the immediate suspension of the central feeding committee at the camp and the introduction of household feeding.

He said each family would henceforth be receiving foodstuffs from the state government.

Speaking with newsmen later, the deputy governor said government had already moved trucks of foodstuffs to the camp to start the household feeding programme.