Displaced Persons Camps To Go By 2017, Says Borno Gov

Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima
Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has expressed optimism that all Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps in the state will have been shut by May 2017.

Shettima said this during a session on ‘Mitigating the Impact of Crisis and Conflict’ at the ongoing 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.

He said: “My target is May 29, 2017; I want to close down all the camps in Maiduguri in order to restore the dignity of our people.

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“We will not stampede or intimidate people to go back to terrains not well secured. The local government headquarters would put up security architecture that would secure those places.

“The IDPs we have right now in Maiduguri, Biu and other places are full of challenges – issues of early child marriages, child prostitution, drug abuse and gangsterism.

“If we allow these things to continue, the challenges will become unmanageable in a few years to come,” the Governor said.

Shettima added that his administration is working to address the issue of illiteracy, unemployment and extreme poverty, which he believes fuels insurgency in the northeast region,

“You cannot divorce insurgency from poverty. We must evolve holistic programmes to create jobs.

“We have come up with programmes of addressing the grievances of the people and bridging the gap in trust between the leadership and the people.

“Education is a great treasure and the administration is determined to change the face
of Borno,” he told the forum.

Shettima reiterated that the state government was dealing with the Boko Haram crisis as an opportunity to make the state better, adding that the insurgency would resurface in a few years if nothing was done to transform the people both intellectually and economically.

“The destruction in the state are enormous,” he said.

“People are quoting 20,000 as the number of people killed, but believe me more than 100,000 people have been killed.

“Our IDPs are all over the state. We have hundreds and thousands of orphans and widows, if we don’t take care of them, believe me they will take care of us in the next 10 to 15 years,” he remarked.






     

     

    The Governor also said that the State is placing emphasis on girl-child education and women empowerment, as well as agricultural development.

    He said: “We want to pursue the issue of girl-child education and rebuilding all the communities; we are also focusing on women empowerment.”

    “We engage the youth and create jobs so as to reduce vices; agriculture happens to be the best platform for engaging them.”

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    He added that the population of IDPs in Maiduguri alone had risen from 1.2 million to nearly three million, but “there are more to it than the IDPs camps. What can we do to restore the dignity of our people? What can we do to become merchants of hope for a better tomorrow?” he asked.

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