Borno State Governor Professor Babagana Zulum has expressed fears that dwindling resources and poverty, if not tackled, may force some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to join Boko Haram and its splinter group–the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters.
The governor, who made this known yesterday during the closure of the Dalori-1, Dalori-2, Gubio and Muna IDP camps in Maiduguri, said that the state government cannot continue to keep its people in the IDP camps.
He said the State government under his leadership will do everything possible to ensure that more communities are resettled in a dignified manner.
Zulum said: “The only way to address the problems of insurgency is for the government to address the root cause which among others includes increasing poverty, infrastructure deficit and the climate vulnerabilities.
“Therefore, what we need to do is to return the IDPs to their ancestral homes in a dignified manner. Nobody is forced to return to his ancestral home, we are here to support voluntary return in accordance with the Kampala Convention. People will be supported with means of livelihood so that they earned their means of livelihood by themselves otherwise our people shall continue to live in the IDP camps,” he said.
The governor said all IDP camps will be closed before the expiration of his tenure urging the Federal Government to initiate a medium and long sustainable framework to curb the over dependence humanitarian support by the IDPs.
Zulum lauded the chairman of Victim Support Fund General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) and the fund for the largest support to the plights of the victims and government of the state during the over 13 years of humanitarian crisis.
He also urged the returnees to make good use of the assistance and support the government resettlement efforts by assisting the security agents with useful information