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Zulum seeks UN support to assist, resettle 1.8 million Borno IDPs


Zulum seeks UN support to assist, resettle 1.8 million Borno IDPs

Tada Jutha, Maiduguri

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state has sought UN agencies and development partners to allow the government to take lead in humanitarian assistance and resettlements of 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

According to him, the IDPs shall not be allowed to continue to depend on handouts, after taking shelter in camps for eight years.

Zulum raised the alarm yesterday (Thursday), when the Acting UN Country Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mathias Schmake paid an official visit in Maiduguri.

Read Also: Humanitarian Affairs Donates 500 KVA Genset, Diesel To UMTH In Borno

He said the agencies and development partners are to supplement state governments’ efforts in line with international best practices.

Besides, he noted that the agencies and partners are not to take over the administration of the State Government.

Continued: “There is nothing wrong in supporting the IDPs return to their ancestral home voluntarily, after living in camps for over eight years.

He lamented that the support from donor agencies is dwindling every day.

“We want to develop the resilience of people in liberated communities by supporting them return to their communities,” he said, declaring that there is no going back on the restricted and non-restricted areas of operations of UN agencies.

According to him, the document on areas of operation remain valid to donors and agencies under his administration.

While denying forceful resettlements, he said: “We’re returning the people under the Kampala Convention with dignity and livelihoods support,” adding that some people working with the humanitarian peace development nexus could not understand the problems facing the state.

He said that they are in the state to make money and create problems for the state government and its people.

He therefore, urged the UN and development partners to separate the wheat from chaff and deal decisively with those not willing to key into the State’s objectives.

“We must join hands to defeat Boko Haram terrorists,” he said, as the state government support from the UN agencies has made life much easier to restore their livelihoods.

Responding, Schmake said that his intention is to build on the successes of the former humanitarian coordinator, Edward Kallon.

 “I’m not coming with a new agenda,” he said; but to continue the good relationship and be guided by His Excellency, on what we can do to improve.

He explained that the purpose of the UN is to support both the federal and state governments for the benefits of the people.

“This is our common agenda,” he said, as the UN needs to do what is best for the people of Borno to overcome their dependency on aid.

He noted that his will make people’s life worth living in the liberated communities.

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