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Nigeria deploys over 2,000 security personnel to avert theft of food aid

Nigeria deploys over 2,000 security personnel to avert theft of food aid

Nigeria

The Nigerian government has put in place measures to curb what it says is a massive diversion of government aid meant for victims of the Boko Haram insurgency. The government says about half of food aid was diverted.

According to Laolu Akande, the spokesman for Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the government had deployed over 2,000 security personnel to guard emergency food aid as it is moved from the warehouses and sent for distribution.

He said 1,376 military personnel and 656 armed police were engaged to help avert the issue of diversion.

The issue of diversion of relief materials, including food and related matters, which has dogged food delivery to the IDPs (Internally displaced people) would be significantly curbed under the new matrix.

‘‘The issue of diversion of relief materials, including food and related matters, which has dogged food delivery to the IDPs (Internally displaced people) would be significantly curbed under the new matrix,’‘ he stressed.

Osinbajo recently launched a programme targeted at distributing grains to 1.8 million people living in displaced camps in the hardest hit northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Under the new programme, over 1,000 trucks of assorted grains are to be delivered to beneficiaries.

Boko Haram have killed thousands and forced more than 2 million people to flee their homes since 2009 in an insurgency aimed at creating a state adhering to strict Islamic laws in the northeast of Africa’s most populous nation.

The militant group also carries out cross-border attacks in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Their activities have been restricted after Buhari took over in 2015. But they continue to carry out suicide attacks and sparse combat with the army especially in Borno State.

International agencies say some 1.5 million people are on the brink of famine in the northeast.

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