Buhari gives marching orders to IGP over IDP food stealing

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Apparently dazed by the way civil servants have been stealing materials and food donated to internally displaced persons at the various camps across Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has given the police a marching order. The president asked the police to immediately commence the arrest of such thieving civil servants and make an example of them before others.

Food supplies to IDP camps are allegedly often stolen by government officials posted to care for the displaced persons The internally displaced persons have been kept in various camps after their villages and towns were overran by the Boko Haram, a sect that has killed thousands of Nigerians and people in neighbouring countries since their emergence in 2010. Different bodies and non-governmental organisations have overtime donated materials to the camps habouring the displaced persons, but there had been allegations that government officials often steal the materials thus keeping the victims of terrorism in perpetual hunger.

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Recently, photographs of hunger-stricken persons at the camp have been making round and it is believed that this had embarrassed the federal government that had often been silent over the allegation.  World bodies including the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) also raised alarm over the condition of the Boko Haram victims in their camps. Irked by their living conditions, some of the displaced persons in Borno state staged a protest against the government officials and declared that they now want to receive aides from organisations directly.

But the Borno state government denied the allegation saying the protest was politically motivated. The action of the displaced persons moved the Senate which launched an investigation into the allegation. Daily Trust reports that Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the phone that the president had asked the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) “to catch some of these alleged thieves, to look out for them and make public examples of them.”

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