Says “We Are Not Blind To The Difficulties”
*FG Adopts Door-To-Door Sharing Of Grains In Camps –
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) on Thursday in Maiduguri unveiled a new and more effective distribution plan for delivering relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East.
The arrangement is a sharp departure from the former undignified practice of forcing people to queue up for food.
In the new deal, flagged-off at the popular Bakassi Camp by Prof. Osinbajo, the camp officials will henceforth deliver food items to the IDPs at their door-steps in exchange for a pre-issued voucher.
Unfolding this new strategy, the Acting President said it is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision to cater for the needs and welfare of IDPs in the North East region of the country.
According to him, by this new package, “we are incorporating the voucher system which do not only make the process of relief distribution transparent, it will improve our own data collection and our national capacity to plan for what will be a quarterly exercise.”
Prof Osinbajo said, “As we restore and maintain security in the region, we must not lose sight of the need to provide social service, food, education, healthcare, shelter as well as resettlement and livelihood support.
“Today, the Federal Government flags off what will be a quarterly grain distribution programme for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and by this, we are saying to our brothers and sisters in the Northeast that our country does not take their burdens lightly and we are not blind to their difficulties.
“I am particularly pleased to say that the grains that we’ll be distributing, which comprise of Sorghum, Maize, Soya Beans, and Rice, are produced locally; they are produced here in Nigeria by our own farmers.
Explaining further, the Acting President said, “This has always been the vision of Mr. President for our country, to grow what we eat, and to eat what we grow and to use what we make. These grains have travelled from various locations across the country, from as far afield as Ibadan, and as close as Gombe; escorted and protected by the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Military and in some cases will be airlifted by the Nigeria Air Force.”
Prof Osinbajo, who pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to work closely with States in providing other assistance, including health services to the IDPs, praised the partnership support from international partners such as the UN, World Food Programme, NEMA, the Military, the Police, and other security agencies and State Governments in the region.
Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande said in a statement that the Acting President, who visited the Shehu of Borno, Umar Abubakar Gabai Ibn El-Kanemi in his palace, told the royal father and members of his Emirate Council that President Buhari considers the IDPs’ welfare as the responsibility of government.
In his remarks, the Shehu of Borno thanked President Buhari for his commitment to the restoration of peace in the State and entire region, even as he noted the laudable efforts of the Buhari Presidency at recovering the kidnapped Chibok girls and attending to the IDPs’ welfare needs across the region.
The media aide said upon arrival in Maiduguri, the Acting President inspected the consignment of about 30,000 metric tonnes to be delivered across the region by 1,032 trucks. The materials are for affected persons in of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe States.
He said Prof Osinbajo also inspected some public facilities that included the NEMA warehouse, the Bakassi IDP camp office and the premises of a School located within the camp.
At the event with the Acting President were Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, Governor Bindo Jubrilla of Adamawa State, Yobe State Deputy Governor Abubakar D. Ali and members of the National Assembly. Also present were members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, General Baba Munguno (Rtd); Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin: Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai; and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) the Governor, Godwin Emefiele among several other dignitaries.