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SEMA speaks on protest by IDPs in Maiduguri

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The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has dismissed reports alleging that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) protested lack of food at the Gubio IDPs Village and IDPs camp in Maiduguri.

Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, the SEMA Chairperson, told NAN that the protest was not triggered by lack of food or starvation as speculated but as a result of the delay in the monthly household distribution of food by supporting humanitarian partners working at the camp.

Kolo explained that the agency was working with the World Food Programme (WFP), NEMA, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Action Against Hunger to provide the monthly feeding and other activities in all the camps in Maiduguri.

She said: “SEMA’s responsibility was to provide condiments such as okro and other perishable items, while NEMA, WFP and Action Against Hunger provide other food items.’’

She explained that the IDPs in the camp were those displaced from Northern part of Kalabalge and Kukawa Local Government Areas of the state.

“We are doing what we could to ensure proper welfare of the IDPs are met, but as you know in a situation where we have to handle about 1.4 million IDPs at the same time, delay is bound to happen.

“As government, it is our responsibility to provide durable solutions to conditions of the IDPs especially water and other basic services.

“Their security, safety, welfare and dignity is our priority,” said Kolo.

She said that the agency was working with other humanitarian partners to improve coordination and strengthen responses on such emergency situations.

Kolo said that normalcy had been restored in the camp while efforts were being made to address the issue.

The News Agency of Nigeria however recalls that some aggrieved IDPs staged a demonstration on Thursday in Maiduguri to protest alleged lack of food in the camp.

The IDPs marched on the high way close to Maimalari army cantonment but were prevented from gaining access into the city by the military at the checking point.

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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