Babagana Zulum, Borno State Governor has issued a stark warning that the Boko Haram crisis, if not contained, could have dire consequences for Nigeria.
Zulum said this during a meeting with the reconstituted management board of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) in Maiduguri, laying emphasis on the importance of addressing the continuous existence of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Borno’s Local Government Areas, calling it a potential time bomb.
“While North-West and North-Central and others are speaking about banditry, kidnapping, and others, ours is Boko Haram and ISWAP. It’s better for us to control it, not for the sake of Borno State,” he said. “We have to stop the younger ones from being recruited into Boko Haram and ISWAP, otherwise, in the near future, the entire Nigeria will be wiped off the map.”
Zulum also raised concerns about the conditions in IDP camps, including increased prostitution, unplanned procreation, and drug abuse, which have worsened the plight of the people. He called for the intervention of the North East Development Commission to work with the state government in closing these camps and helping residents regain their means of livelihood.
“And then in Borno State, in the year 2012, about 3.5 million people were displaced. We returned many but still, we have over one million people: internally displaced people living in IDPS camps – that is increasing prostitution in IDP camps, that is increasing procreation without care in the IDP camps. There is drug abuse in the IDP camps,” Zulum added.
“And therefore we want the intervention of the North East Development Commission. We want you to partner with the state government for us to close these IDP camps so that people can earn their means of livelihood by themselves,” he said. “On the assumption of duty, I promised the people of Borno State that I’d close all official camps that are inside Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and we did so with the help of Almighty Allah.”