IDPs’ Protest Makes Humanitarian Workers Leave Maiduguri
It was not their plan to leave the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno State, but protest by those they are offering support has put their lives at risk and they have been forced to leave.
Humanitarian workers have pulled out of an IDPs camp in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
A protest by the displaced persons had degenerated to violence that the humanitarian workers could not face.
The protest was triggered by disagreements over the quantity of food brought in for distribution at Gubio Road IDP camp which houses displaced persons from 11 local governments of the Borno State.
It is one of the 13 government recognised IDP camps in Maiduguri, with a population needing food items and other materials.
The nerves frayed on August 26, when they, by their judgement, noticed that the quantity of food brought in for distribution was small.
They opted for a protest, but a hungry man is always an angry man, as they say. Their anger became uncontrollable.
It degenerated to violence, with the angry IDPS smashing cars and injuring some humanitarian workers until security forces came to halt the assault.
After their deliverance from the angry IDPs, the humanitarian workers suspended their activities.
They will continue when their safety is guaranteed, they said.
One of the IDPs, Ibrahim Abubakar, told Channels Television that they had asked the humanitarian workers to give them a quantity of Sorghum that would be adequate.
“We were angry with these people (humanitarian workers) not because of the sorghum they gave us, but because we simply asked for a quantity that would adequately feed us and our families.”
“Two bowls cannot sustain us for a whole month, no one can survive on two bowls of sorghum for a whole month; that is our problem. But if they bring food that would sustain us up to a month we would be happy,” Channels Television quoted him as saying.
Another displaced person, Maimuna Kassum, said the protest was against delay in food distribution and insufficient food supply.
The Borno State Emergency Management Agency condemned the attack on humanitarian workers by the angry IDPs in their camp and gave a different perspective to the protest.
The Chairman of SEMA, Ahmed Satomi, told reporters that the protest was not as a result of food shortage in the camp as claimed, but the choice of food requested by the IDPs.
A United Nations agency, UNHCR, had warned that the needs of the affected population living in IPDs camps could never be satisfied through humanitarian means, but advised that efforts should be raised to ensure that all IDPs return home.