Persons believed to be thieves have allegedly diverted relief materials donated to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at Ogbe Afor Primary School in Asaba, Delta State by the Red Cross Society of Nigeria.
The victims at the camp, who spoke to journalists on Wednesday in Asaba in tears, called on Delta State government to as a matter of urgency constitute a probe panel into the wilful activities of the thieves who had been allegedly diverting relief materials donated to them incognito since they moved into the camp.
The leader of the victims, Patrick Major, who claimed to be native of Bomadi Community in the state, disclosed that the relief materials suddenly grew wings the same day the Red Cross Society donated the materials to them at the camp, adding that the relief materials – six bags of rice and beans including toiletries were allegedly carted away in the night by the thieves who claimed to be government agents.
He said: “These persons dressed in red white clothes with government identity cards they put on and carted the relief materials donated to us. They are not taking care of us well again.
The thieves have taken over the camp. We want the state government to intervene and bring the thieves to book before we leave for our homes. Officially, they fed us once a day. We need the attention of the government”.
But the Camp Commandant at the Ogbe Afor Primary School, Daniel Okpor, dispelled the allegations as untrue, saying that there was no relief materials donated to the camp by Red Cross Society of Nigeria apart from the items from the state government, adding that It was not also true that the victims were not properly being taken care of by the Camp officials.
Officials of the Red Cross Society of Nigeria in the state, who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity, said relief materials were donated to the victims at the Ogbe Afor Primary School camp,
adding that It was not thier duty to monitor the use or judicious use of the materials and called on the state government to ensure the theives are brought to book soon.
They disclosed that the Red Society had in the last few weeks donated relief materials to eight Camps in the state including the Ogbe Afor Primary School camp,
adding that the relief materials may have been allegedly stolen by officials of the state government responsible for the care of the victims and urged the state government to look into the matter as a matter of urgency.
The state Commissioner for Special Duties, Barrister Earnest Ogwezzy, who also is the Chairman of the state IDPs Camps, who spoke to journalists, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation was ongoing with a view to arresting the thieves who carted away the relief materials donated by the Red Cross Society of Nigeria to the victims at Ogbe Afor Primary School Camp.
He said: “We are investigating the incident and the report presented to us. The Governor, Dr. lfeanyi Okowa, is very unhappy about the activities and he had ordered the theives to be brought to book soon.
It’s unfortunate that the officials of the state government were accused, but we are looking into it”.