From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Borno State has said that it will close all Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps located within Maiduguri, by December 31. Gov. Babagana Zulum made this known while addressing State House correspondents at the end of a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja on Friday. He said the decision to close the camps in Maiduguri was informed by the recent improvement in the security situation in the state.
According to him, the state government decided to close the camps to enable displaced persons to return to their ancestral homes.
“I came to brief the president on efforts made by Borno State government in ensuring the return of internally-displaced persons to their homes. So far so good, Borno State government has started well and arrangements have been concluded to ensure the closure of all internally-displaced persons’ camps that are inside Maiduguri on or before Dec. 31,’’ he said.
According to the governor, arrangements have also been concluded for the safe return of persons displaced into neighbouring Niger and Cameroun Republics, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
“In addition to that, Borno State government is also making efforts in collaboration with the ministry to continue with the repatriation of Nigerians in Minawo Camp in Cameroun.
“Furthermore, on Nov. 27, Borno State government will ensure the resettlement of IDPs that are living in Diffa Province of Niger to Malumfatari, a local government area in Borno, where we don’t have human population because of the insurgency,” he added. Zulum commended security agencies for their support and efforts in the restoration of peace to troubled local government areas in Borno. “To this effect, the Nigerian military is providing all the needed support to the government of Borno State. I am pleased to inform you also that the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Adm. Awwal Gambo, ensured the return of Naval Base to Baga last month,” Gov. Zulum said.