Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, on Monday had a curse placed on anyone in the habit of diverting food items meant for internally displaced persons in the state.
The incident took place while the governor was coordinating and supervising the distribution of food items to nearly 200,0000 IDPs in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno.
While the governor watched, an official, who had been assigned the task, raised a copy of the Qur’an and asked the wrath of God to come upon anyone fraudulently diverting food and other relief items meant for the welfare of displaced persons.
A curse was also placed on IDPs in the habit of collecting multiple rations of food to sell in markets, thereby depriving other displaced persons food to eat.
As soon as the official holding the Quaran and placing the curse began the act, dozens of adults disappeared from the long queues, raising suspicion that they could have been involved in the fraudulent practice.
The official said:
“Listen to me very attentively, Governor Zulum has asked me to announce to you that from himself as governor down to humanitarian and government officials, in fact anybody at all that diverts food meant for IDPs, the curse of God through the instrumentality of the Qur’an will come upon them.
“May the wrath of God come upon anyone who has collected allocation ticket but came here to collect what is meant for others.
“You all know that food is distributed to households and everyone in the camps are part of a household.
“If you know you are not the head of a household or that you have already collected your portion, better leave the queue or incur the wrath of the Qur’an.”
Diversion of food items meant for displaced persons is a common practice among officials saddled with the welfare of such persons in many parts of the country especially in the North-East region where violent attacks by terrorist group – Boko Haram – hale eft many families homeless.