Nigeria: Zulum - How We Discovered '650 Ghosts' in IDPs Camp

Women and children collect water in Mafa IDP camp, Borno state, north-east Nigeria.

The Governor of Borno State has discovered "650 ghost households" when he visited a camp of Internally Displaced Persons in Borno State.

Zulum's visit to the camp located at Mohammed Goni College of Islamic Legal Studies in Maiduguri, the state capital, was a move to put a stop to rampant cases of dubious residents pretending to be displaced.

A statement issued on the Facebook page of the Governor revealed that the fake IDPs spend day times at the camp when food is being shared, and towards the night they return to their homes.

The statement read, "Around midnight on Sunday, Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum showed up at Mohammed Goni College of Islamic Legal Studies in Maiduguri, where internally displaced persons from Abadam local government area of northern Borno were being camped.

"Zulum immediately sealed entrance and supervise a headcount to identify actual IDPs, in order to put a stop to rampant cases of dubious residents pretending to be displaced, who spend day times at IDP camps to share food meant for IDPs, and towards the night, they return to their homes to sleep, with some of benefiting from other means through which the state distributes food to vulnerable non IDPs in communities.

"Governor Zulum's mission, which ended past 1am, discovered that out of 1,000 households in the records of humanitarian officials, 650 households were ghosts.

"450 households were found to be real IDPs after Zulum's midnight headcount which was conducted by the governor alongside an official of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Air Commodore M. T. Abdullahi, and two commissioners (Agriculture, and Local Government and Emirate Affairs).

"In humanitarian system, a household normally consist of at least six persons who are either related through families, or chosen to stay together for the purpose of receiving household aids.

"Officials who were part of the midnight headcount said Governor Zulum was not averse to approving support for any citizen who may be vulnerably in need of food since there is a committee doing that, however, the Governor is vehemently opposed to some residents making dubious claims in other to take what is meant for IDPs while also benefiting from other existing welfare activities that target non IDPs."

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