Governor Zulum gifts N500 million to departing IDPs in Bakassi camp

Governor Zulum gifts N500 million to departing IDPs in Bakassi camp

More than 5,000 internally displaced people who expressed a desire to return to safe and rebuilt communities have received half a billion naira (N500m) when Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, arrived at a government-controlled camp in Maiduguri known as ‘Bakassi.

The Governor who went unannounced to meet and support the most needy and homeless victims, after spending seven hours coordinating food and cash aid said he did so because some people have a habit of staying at IDP camps from morning to evening pretending to be completely homeless, while at night sneaking to some homes outside the camp.

IDPs from Monguno, Gwoza, Guzamala, and Marte Local Government Areas have been occupying the ‘Bakassi’ camp, which is an unfinished government estate along the Maiduguri-Damboa road, for nearly seven years. Many of the women at the camp have been giving birth to children on a regular basis, some of them almost every year.

According to Zulum, the IDPs camp was becoming a permanent culture, causing some citizens to become completely reliant on non-sustainable aid, prompting the decision to promote safe and dignified resettlement with livelihood assistance.

From the N500 million distributed during the Governor’s visit, each man and woman in charge of a household received N100,000, two bags of 25 kg rice, a carton of spaghetti, and five liters of cooking oil.

    

Married women received N50,000 cash each, even after their husbands, each received N100,000 and food items listed above.

Majority of women who head households lost their husbands to killings by insurgents while husbands of some are still missing.

“Majority of the IDPs are willing to safely go back home. I came here in response to their request, to support them to relocate back to their ancestral homes. We are here to give them cash and food support that will help them with some small starting on livelihood after they return”, Zulum said.

The governor said while Borno State Government provided the N500m shared to the IDPs, the Federal Government, through the North East Development Commission, NEDC, provided a chunk of so much food items distributed to them.

The Governor expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development as well as the North East Development Commission for supporting Borno people through critical interventions.

While at the ‘Bakassi’ camp, Governor Zulum, in the presence of Borno’s Head of the International Organization For Migration (IOM), Mr. K. reiterated that although the state government plans to close all IDP camps in Maiduguri by December, no IDP should be forced to relocate to any community.

He directed that all returns must be voluntary noting that IDPs who choose to live in any part of Maiduguri or elsewhere will be provided with livelihood support to find place and live a productive life rather than depending on aid at camps.

 

 

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