The Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum has raised the alarm that the state government is no longer able to feed over one million people resident in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp located across the state, The Herald reports.
Babagana Zulum stated while receiving the House of Representatives Committee on the North East Development Commission (NEDC) in Maiduguri that the IDPs need to have access to a means of livelihood.
During the meeting, Zulum expressed gratitude to President Buhari for the creation of the NEDC while pointing out that there was an increase in food insecurity in the region.
“NEDC has indeed brought succor to the people of Borno State,” the Governor said.
“However, looking at the huge number of the internally displaced persons in IDPs camps and host communities, it is no longer sustainable for IDPs to depend on handouts from neither NGOs or from NEDC or NEMA. The only solution is to ensure reconstruction of communities, rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs back to their ancestral homes in a dignified manner.
“If it is not possible to go back to their communities, there is a need for the federal government to provide accommodation to them so that they can settle in a place where it is safe to engage in their means of livelihood.”
Zulum stated that the number of displaced persons living in the camps was simply too large for any single government or NGO to feed in perpetuity. He stated that the IDPs have expressed the desire to return to their homes and earn a living for themselves.
“Last time even in Monguno alone we spent over a billion naira in a day providing a food, items to the IDPs, yet, we were unable to cover 50% of the total population of IDPs in Monguno.
“You can exhaust the entire budget of the NEDC by providing a food, items to the IDPs in a month, we need your support. You can visit any of the IDPs camp, the only slogan you hear is ‘we want to go back home. If nothing is done I am afraid we will face another serious challenge. Right now the insurgents are recruiting many of our children into the sect.”
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