Hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) registered for relief financial packages under Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operations (YESSO) protested in the Adamawa State capital, Yola, on Monday over bogus payments that reached only a small fraction of them.
They gathered at the Yola branch of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) on Atiku Abubakar Way, where the fund for them is domiciled, and insisted on being paid.
In separate interviews, the protesters complained that while a few of them had received hundreds of thousands of naira in bank alerts towards the weekend, a huge majority had not received anything.
Under the YESSO programme in Adamawa State, each beneficiary should get a total of N170,000 in four tranches: N30 as first relief package to all the IDPs, N20,000 as transport money to those who have chosen to return home; N100,000 as resettlement package when they arrive home; and N20,000 final payout.
The sudden huge payouts to some of the beneficiaries alarmed the huge majority who got nothing, and evidently prompted them to stage the protest of Monday.
They laid siege on the FCMB, effectively shutting operations of the bank and disrupting traffic on the otherwise busy Atiku Abubakar Way.
The bank branch management said they had no authority to speak to the press on the development.
The Adamawa YESSO Office, which has a new management, would also not comment, as they had just assumed duties.
However, the immediate former state coordinator of YESSO, Mr. Muhammed Jika, told newsmen that the isolated few large payments to some YESSO beneficiaries were unintended IT activities.
Jika who effected payment of the first tranche of the YESSO package before he left office, said the bogus payments causing the current uproar were infractions and that the FCMB had shut down the system to prevent further infractions.
YESSO implementation in Adamawa State is done jointly by the state government, the Federal Government, and the World Bank.