About 600,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) in Monguno town of Borno state, had on Tuesday received cash largesse totalling N325 million, officials said.
The raw cash sharing was directly supervised by the state Governor, Babagana Zulum, as part of the government’s approach to tackling hunger and starvation in IDP camps.
Since he came to power in May 2019, Governor Zulum has performed such cash and food distribution exercises for about a dozen times.
The governor had in most cases passed nights in remote IDP camps, where he sometimes came under attack.
Isa Gusau, the spokesman of Governor Zulum, said the monies and variety of food were distributed
to over 100,000 households who were denied access to their farmlands, businesses and other means of livelihood.
A household by UN standard as adopted in Borno state comprises six persons.
“Monguno is the most populated part of northern Borno, within Nigeria’s portion of the Lake Chad region, which has faced the most severe attacks from Boko Haram in recent years,” said Mr Gusau.
Monguno town has become a mega garrison camp that plays host to other IDPs from Kukawa, Marte, Ngnazi and Guzamala local government areas.
While in Monguno, Governor Zulum supervised the offloading of thousands of bags of food grains, sugar and wrappers which he later distributed to heads of households, comprising 65,000 males and 35,000 females.
“Each head of household received three bags of rice, maize grain, and beans, while each of the female beneficiaries was given additionally wrappers and N5,000.
The over a decade old insurgency had forced over 3 million people in the BAY (Borno, Adamawa, Yola) states of the Northeast out of their ancestral homes into IDP camps.
The armed opposition group, popularly known as Boko Haram had targetted vulnerable communities, security outfits and killing well over 100,000 people since the war started in 2009.
The AOG had initially demanded the enthronement of the Sharia system of Islamic governance in replacement of the constitutional authority as a condition for “truce”. Though the now divided terror group had long abandoned such demands, killings attacks continued in the most heinous manner which ranks them as the most vicious terrorist organisation in the world.
Governor is targeting May 2021 as the deadline for the final return of IDPs to their communities and the closure of the camp. But with only 60 days to the deadline, the coast seemed unclear and somehow unrealistic.