From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Increasing prostitution and aid racketeering among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are some of the issues that have compelled the Borno State Government to commence the closing of camps for displaced victims of the northeastern insurgency, Governor Babagana Zulum has said.
Governor Zulum disclosed this on Wednesday during the commissioning and handing-over of 582 units of houses to returnee IDPs at Auno, a small community in Borno.
‘The situation at the IDPs camps in Borno is not palatable. There is increasing prostitution in the camps, food racketeering among IDPs. we can no longer allow all these,’ the governor said.
The governor mentioned the government was relocating IDPs in accordance with global standards for resetlement and rehabilitation of displaced persons or refugees.
‘The government is relocating the IDPs in conformity with laid down procedures, particularly the Kampala convention for voluntary, safe and dignified return and resettlement of IDPs,’ he explained.
Governor Zulum said the government has spent about N200 million for the resettlement exercise. He said the exercise was also to ensure the revival of public institutions that have hitherto been converted into camps for displaced persons.
He disclosed that 82 of the 582 houses were built by the Bank of Industry as support to the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, Mustapha Gubio, who is also the chairman of the Resettlement Committee, said over 3,000 households have been relocated from Maiduguri IDP camps.
He said the 582 houses were made up of two-rooms detached apartments for each of the households allocated to the IDPs at Auno. He said some of the IDPs agreed to be relocated to Auno, a neutral place, while others preferred to return to their local government headquarters or rent apartments in Maiduguri with support from the government.
Some of the IDPs in Auno have informed Daily Sun that they are yet to be allocated house three days after their relocation.
‘We’ve been sleeping in the open. We have not been given houses, officials said allocations have finished. We don’t know what to do again,’ said Goni Ahmad, one of the IDPs.