Diversion of relief materials: ‘Whoever diverts food meant for IDPs, may the curse of God through the instrumentality of the Qur’an, come upon that person’—Borno Gov invokes the wrath of God

Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum on Monday invoked the wrath of God on anyone diverting humanitarian assistance meant for internally displaced persons in the troubled state.

According to United Nations, about two million persons are displaced in the decade old Boko Haram crisis in the Northeast.

Over half of this number is from Borno State, the birthplace and epicenter of the crisis.

The United Nations, which has also complained of dearth of fund, recently said 7.1 million people are in need of life-saving assistance in the troubled Northeast.

Addressing the displaced persons in Monguno on Monday, where he was spending the second day to monitor the distribution of relief materials to about 200,000 displaced persons, Borno State Governor, raised the Qur’an asking God’s wrath against anywhere diverting the humanitarian assistance meant for the IDPs.

The governor, who did not leave himself out of the curse, asked that any humanitarian workers in the State Emergency Management Agency,  the National Emergency Management Agency, other government officials and anyone for that matter, who diverts food and other aids meant for the welfare of displaced persons should be visited with God’s wrath.

The Oath was also administered against IDPs who have the habit of collecting multiple rations of food most of which they sell in markets, depriving fellow displaced persons of food.

The governor, who undertook the trip to Monguno on Sunday, where IDPs from Marte, Kukawa, Mobbar, Guzamala and Monguno local government areas of the state are being accommodated, had at the weekend ordered the deployment of trailers loaded with varieties of food items including rice, spaghetti, oil and other condiments ahead of his visit. 

The Governor, who had earlier ordered that a copy of the Qur’an be made available for the oath, had held series of meetings with officials involved in humanitarian activities and those of local government areas  whose ‎citizens are displaced in Monguno. 

The governor had at about 6am on Monday, underwent the tour of the 16 camps in the town to ensure that genuine IDPs who spent the night in the camps benefited from the humanitarian supplies.

However a mild drama was witnessed at the camps as hundreds of adult male and female IDPs began to leave queues whenever the oath administrator (acting like a town crier) raised the Qur’an calling on God to punish anyone of them who was in the queue to collect multiple rations of food.

The oath administrator had said: “Listen to me very attentively, Governor Zulum has asked me to announce to you, that from himself as your Governor down to humanitarian officials of SEMA, NEMA, other government officials and anybody at all, whoever diverts food meant for IDPs, may the curse of God through the instrumentality of the Qur’an, come upon that person. May the wrath of God come upon anyone who has collected allocation ticket but came here to collect what is meant for others. You all know that food is distributed to households and everyone here is part of a household, if you know you are not the head of a household or that you have already collected your portion, better leave the queue or you incurred the wrath of the Qur’an.”

Each time the oath administrator, simply known at Babagana, made the announcement in every of the camps, displaced persons left in numbers with some of them laughing.

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