Worried by the lingering security situation caused by boko haram insurgents in the northeast, Borno Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum has charged the UN resident humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon as well as other stakeholders to join hands in addressing root causes of the insurgency.
The Governor made the observation on Thursday when the United Nations delegation led Mr. Edward Kallon visited him in Maiduguri.Zulum cited causes that include endemic hunger, low literacy, lack of job opportunities particularly in communities which relied on the shrinking Lake Chad, poor control of land borders amongst others.
“We have been receiving tremendous support from the humanitarian partners as well as the development partners. But there is a need for us to address the root causes of the insurgency” Zulum said.The Governor went further to explain the deplorable conditions of the IDPs and the increasing criminal activities in the camps.
“The continuous dependent on handout by our internally displaced persons is not a solution to ending this humanitarian crises.”“While food supply is dwindling, the population is increasing in quick geometrical ratio.” Zulum said.
“There is increasing prostitution in the IDPs camp, there increasing rate of drugs abuse in the IDPs camp, there procreation and increasing gangsterism in the IDPs camp” Zulum added.
The Governor expressed appreciation to all the humanitarian and development partners rendering different kinds of support to the IDPs.“Let me use forum to express appreciation to the UN resident humanitarian Coordinator and other members of the UN country team for this very important visit.
“Let me also convey our deep appreciation to humanitarian and development partners in Borno State for their continuous support to our IDPs.” Zulum said.
While commending the effort of the all the Humanitarian actors rendering different services in the northeast, Governor Zulum said, it was necessary for the Government and the humanitarian and development partners to shift their goals.
“While appreciating all your support, there is need for us to work together with a view to shifting our goals from our present humanitarian support to medium, and long-term sustainable solutions.”
Zulum also observed that returning IDPs back to their ancestral lands remains the only sustainable solution to the humanitarian crises face by the state.
“The only solution is for our internally displaced persons to return to their ancestral homes or to another location where it is termed to be safe in a dignified manner, so that they can earn their means of livelihood.” Zulum observed.
“Government of Borno State and the federal government have been supporting the IDPs with large amounts of food items, I remember within the last six months, the federal government has allocated nothing fewer than 450 trucks of food items to Borno State in addition to what we have been providing.” Zulum lamented.
“Therefore, the earlier, the better for all of us to put our heads together in resettling back our internally displaced persons to their ancestral town, so that they will return to start their normal farming activities.” Zulum said.
Meanwhile, Governor Zulum has commended the efforts of the Nigerian Military supporting government’s commitment to the welfare of IDPs.
“Let me also use this forum to express my sincere appreciation to the Nigerian Military in supporting our efforts of conveying food and Non food items to different locations in the state.”
Earlier in his remark, the UN resident humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon highlighted the activities of the humanitarian partners in Borno.
Mr. Edward Kallon attributed the lingering crisis in the northeast to a development deficit which includes; Weak institutions and lack of governance at multiple levels, federal, state, and local government, impact of climate change, and increased competition over land, and water resources, pavassive corruption, slow economic growth with non diversified economy, and lack of economic inquisitivity coupled with the population growth, multi dimensional poverty and inequality.
The UN resident humanitarian Coordinator also stressed the need to adopt political solution in addressing the crisis in the northeast.
“Your Excellency I have always said, UN in Nigeria believes there’s no military solution to this intractable crisis in which Borno has suffered more than its fair share. We believe a political and peace process is essential to compliment the gallant military efforts if we are to achieve and sustain peace.” Edward Kallon said.
Mr Kallon however warned that the northeast has reached alarming level of food insecurity and hunger as result of the 11-year insurgency and also put forward four (4) recommendations for the Governor’s consideration.