The Presidency, Wednesday summoned the Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima over reports of cases of malnourished children and deaths of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in government camps in the State.
Doctors Without Borders- (Médecins Sans Frontières), MSF, an international humanitarian aid organisation had last week released a statement alongside photographs stating that about 24,000 IDPs were in dire health situation with at least 30 people, mostly children dying every day.
According to records by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Borno state accounts for 90% of internally displaced persons in the troubled North-Eastern part of the country.
Shettima was sighted at the Presidential Villa coming from the office of the Chief of Staff to the President with some officials of the state, but did not go to see President Muhammadu Buhari. When approached by journalists for comments on the allegations and why he was at the Presidential Villa, he declined comments saying it was a private visit.
The President it was gathered was angry at the report that despite billions of Naira spent by the different levels of government as well as donor agencies and philanthropists.
Shettima, had alleged that some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were taking huge advantage of the pains of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the state and defrauding foreign philanthropists under the guise of trying to help victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.
According to him NGOs place ugly pictures of critically malnourished infants, children and adults on the social media with the impression that they are newly rescued by the armed forces from the hands of Boko Haram fighters who held them hostage for years.
“I do not mean to disrespect any sincere NGO but there are those I have seen whose only interest is to go round IDPs and figure out sick and skinny looking infants for the cameras.
“I have seen one example where someone I wouldn’t mention simply sent out horrible pictures of malnourished infants with the caption DONATE!
“I think these children, as bad as their situation might be, deserve to be respected no matter how much we want to help.
“We must respect the dignity of post conflict victims as much as we desire to be respected as humans” the governor was quoted to have said during a round table.