The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum is soliciting for the urgent intervention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in addressing the plight of about 800,000 people displaced by the insurgency in the state.
Governor Zulum, during a visit to NEMA headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, presented a letter to the Director-General of the agency, retired AVM, Muhammadu Alhaji Mohammed in which he drew attention to the critical needs of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in 11 towns.
The towns are: Monguno, Bama, Damboa, Gwoza, Dikwa, Gamboru, Ngala, Damasak, Banki, Pulka and Gajiram.
The Governor said the IDPs are in urgent need of food supplies.
His Special Adviser on Communications and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau, said his boss, however, acknowledged interventions made by NEMA, the North East Development Commission and efforts by the Nigerian Customs Service, following presidential directive two years ago that food seizures be used for humanitarian support in crises areas.
According to him, Governor Zulum “also noted that food interventions must be sustained because the majority of IDPs rely on agriculture as means of livelihood, and substantial portions of them cannot access their farmlands due to insurgents’ attacks.”
He quoted the DG of NEMA as assuring the Borno Governor of sustained support and lauded the efforts of Zulum’s administration toward transforming the state through a well thought out development plan.
The NEMA boss also assured Zulum of the agency’s support, particularly in the actualisation of the state’s recently unveiled 25-year development plan.
Zulum also met the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, on intergovernmental efforts for repatriation of thousands of Borno citizens displaced by insurgency, presently taking refuge in Cameroon in the last six years.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), there are more than 60,000 of such refugees in Minawawo camp in Cameroon, waiting to be evacuated.