Zulum returns over 1,900 IDPs to council headquarters with stipends, others
By Tada JUTHA, Maiduguri
The Borno State Government has returned over 1,900 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to four council headquarters with households’ stipends and starter packs.
The IDPs drawn from Bakkasi camp; are from Gwoza, Guzamala, Marte and Monguno Councils of the state.
This was disclosed Monday by the Commissioner of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR), Alhaji Mustapha Gubio in an interactive session with journalists in Maiduguri, the state capital,
“We went to the Bakassi IDP camp with his Excellency, Governor Babagana Zulum to distribute stipends and various starter packs,” stating that this will enable the displaced persons return to their ancestral homes successfully.
“We’re taking them to the Councils’ headquarters; where there are enough shelters to house them,” he said, noting that the IDPs are not returned to their respective communities.
According to him, they are to stay for a while at the council headquarters, before building houses for them with the provision of schools, health and water supply facilities through the check lists on basic needs of life.
He disclosed that this will also enable the State Government declare the camp officially closed in a week.
On the Kampala Convention, he said that the closure of all camps in the state is in compliance with the convention, which states that the return of IDPs should be with dignity and pride into the liberated communities.
He explained that the IDPs are going back willingly to their ancestral homes without any coercion.
He added that the displaced persons demanded to be returned to raise their means of livelihoods in communities.
He noted that with the shutdown of Bakkasi camp, this brings to four officially declared camps closed in the state.
According to him, three additional ones at Teachers Village, Gubio and the Stadium camps are also to be closed by December, 2021.
On the disbursement of IDPs’ stipends, he said: “The State Government has spent about N1 billion to return the displaced persons in Bakkasi camp,” noting that as funds were expended on the distribution of food items.
He said each head of households is given N100, 000, while their wives were provided with N50,000 each to return to their council areas.
On the IDPs’ return challenges, he noted that; “The challenges are enormous. You cannot relocate IDPs without funds,” adding that houses, hospitals are to be built with livelihood starter packs to pick up their life.