By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has pleaded with the Federal Government to urgently come to their aid to enable them handle the increasing number of the internally Displaced Persons returning back to state.
Shettima hinted that the appeal became necessary because the State government had been overstretched by the influx of a lot of internally displaced persons coming to their camps due to the ongoing success recorded by the Nigerian Military.
The Governor appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA) to come to them with what would assist the IDPs settle back into normal society, pointing out that they were the poorest of the poor on earth.
He made this disclosure when he paid a courtesy visit to the Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammed Sani Sidi to solicit for more support from the agency on Monday in Abuja.
According to him, “Out of 2.5 million refugees in the country, 90% of them are in Borno State, Maiduguri metropolis alone, apart from the IDPs in the camps, we have 1.7 million people within the host communities.
“And even in the best of times, our people were the poorest of the poor and Boko Haram has further worsened the situation. So, we are here fundamentally not only to seek support for the IDPs camps but for the host communities as well.
“Our military were able to record tremendous success in the past couple of weeks which led to the influx of a lot of IDPs to our camps.
“Right now as we are talking and due to the successes recorded by our military, we have nearly 75, 000 IDPs in Jepa, we have 28, 000 in Bama, about 38, 000 in Barki town, about 27,000 in Proka. Even as we are speaking, we have an influx of about 2,300 to Poka today which necessitated us to pay a visit to NEMA, to solicit for their usual assistance.
“Because whenever you are faced with challenges, you normally go to places where you believe you can get support. As a State government we are doing our best, but; NEMA has been our natural partner in taking care of the IDPs for the past two years. So, we are here fundamentally to solicit for their additional support towards catering for the needs of our people.”
Responding, NEMA DG said, “We have been working with the Borno State SEMA and the Borno State government by extension in catering for the overwhelming number of many Displaced Persons in Borno State.
“Now, that there are emerging challenges, new challenges coming up, more people are coming up to the camps and we need to step up and make sure that all the Internally displaced persons that are registered in the camps and indeed even those in the hosts communities are taken care of. So, we will work with the State government to ensure that we provide our support.”