From: Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has revealed that the biggest challenges facing the state are issues of border communities with Benin and Niger Republics as well as infiltration of Almajiris and overpopulation of Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) in the state.
Bagudu who revealed this, on Thursday, while Federal Commissioner, National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, and her team, paid him courtesy visit at Government House, Birnin-Kebbi, noted that Federal Government needed to embark on border demarcation with neighbouring countries.
According to him, most of immigrants including Fulani from Mauritius, Mali and Almajiris from Benin and Niger Republics entering Nigeria through porous borders without proper registration.
His words, “The biggest challenges is the registration of people who are either migrants or IDP. Because if you start registration of migrants now ,it would have negative connotations. We don’t know how many children are in IDP camps so that can provide what they needs. We need data to provide schools for them and farm land in the communities that are hosting them.
” The last issue is the border delineation exercise with Benin republic and Nigeria. Some of our villages have determined to be with Benin Republic and they too have their communities in Nigeria probably they have been there before which are not new. It is not easy to move people from the borders to another country with different languages, different identities”.
Governor Bagudu, who identified Fulani migrants as another major challenge that have not been properly addressed, noted that there was urgent need for the Federal Government to set up institution that would find solution to their continues entering into the country from Mali, Mauritius and provision of nomadic education for those that have really settled in the country with their children.
The Governor disclosed that Kebbi State has the highest IDP camps in Nigeria because of it citizens who went to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa states for farming stressed that when insurgents displaced them, they returned with their families and others who escaped from Boko Haram.
He commended Federal Government for providing security in the North,-East of the country and Kebbi state adding that many villagers have returned to their communities to start rice and wheat farming without any fear of attacks.
He added that due to security in the state, his administration had provided electricity to 16 local government areas in the state out of 21,stressed that by June 2017, twenty local governments would be connected to national grid.
Earlier, Hajia Sadiya Farouq informed the Governor that the situated she met displaced persons in camps was too saddened that required urgent attention.
Farouq who had visited one of the IDP camp in Bunza local government area of the State with personall donations of 20 bags if rice,said they need empowerment instead of bringing relieved materials to them frequently.
While speaking with journalists, the Federal Commissioner disclosed that over 20,000 displaced persons were in IDP camps in the state stressed that federal government are working hard to ensure they return to their various habitats or be given comfortable lives.