Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has disclosed that all Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps in the state would be closed down by May 29, 2017.
This is because the government had placed priority on the reconstruction of communities destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents, to facilitate the return of IDPs to their towns and villages.
Speaking to newsmen on Friday in Maiduguri, Shettima said that the state which has nearly two million displaced persons in IDP camps is becoming a huge problem to the government, therefore the need to close them down by May 29, 2017 latest.
He says the IDP camps are pregnant with loads of challenges of early child marriage, prostitution, drug abuse, gangsterism among others and could entrench further if allowed by the government.
Shettima says the government will be confronted with huge social challenges of an entitlement complex of people feeling that they are entitled to be catered for if that is not done.
Though nobody will be compelled to return to their communities, Gov. Shettima says people, in spite of their poverty, still have some pride left in them, and a lot of them will rather go back to their communities to eat guinea corn and millet than to eat government’s rice and chicken in the IDP camps.
For this reason, the state government wants to restore the dignity of the people by rebuilding their homes, rebuilding their schools, engaging them in gender empowerment initiatives so as to enable them to return back to their homes.
The state government says Bama community has been reconstructed by 25 percent and the target is to reach 50 percent by the end of the year and 75 percent by the first quarter of 2017. By December all the people of Kaga Local Government Area are going to be taken back.
Gov. Shettima is optimistic Nigerians would appreciate the modest accomplishment of the state towards the resettlement of the IDPs with time.