The food gestures extended to the Internal Displaced Persons(IDP) at Diffa Camp in the neigbouring Niger Republic by the Borno State Government has claimed lives of about 23 people following a stampede which occurred in the struggle to have shares of the food.
Penpushing reports that Governor Babagana Zulum, on Sunday, visited Diffa, a border community in the neigbouring country, where he met over 120,000 Nigerians who fled their homes some years ago to take refuge there.
The Governor supervised the food distribution to about 30,000 refugees and shortly after he left, having ordered that the officials of the State Emergency Agencies should continue the distributions, a protest began at the two distribution sites called the MJC Boys and Girls Club in Diffa province as the refugees complained of delay in the exercise.
Penpushing further reports that, in the course of the protest, stampede occurred when some Nigeriens living around the camp stormed the place with the hope of getting some food even though they were not meant to benefit.
The stampede that ensued resulted in the death of number of aged women and children when things went out of control the second day(Monday) claiming 23 persons which include, 19 Nigeriens, and four Nigerians.
Penpushing also reports that, a witness explained on Monday that “the distribution supervised by Governor Zulum on Sunday was successfully carried out as the entire 30,000 that received the meal token, all got their food and clothing,”
The witness who does not want his name in the print added, “after the Governor had left, the official continued the distribution at a venue called Gidan Wasa, where over 6000 refugees received their shares.
“But things went out of control the second day when some local Nigeriens got wind of the distribution exercise continuing on Monday. They rushed down to join the Nigerian refugees at the distribution locations; and in attempts to be the first to get the relief items, a serious stampede ensued’, he said
Penpushing reports that, the 120,000 are among the millions of Nigerians who have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in North-east Nigeria, and majority of the victims reside in other communities and displaced persons camps within Nigeria, while hundreds of thousands of others, however, fled to neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Meanwhile,the spokesman of the Borno State Governor, Isa Gusau, confirmed the development adding that the government will not be making any official comment on the matter now, “until the governor receives a detail report” of what transpired from the committee handling the distribution of the items to the refugees.