Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, has expressed concern over the challenges faced in camps housing internally displaced persons (IDPs), stating that Boko Haram insurgents are now recruiting children in the state.
The governor disclosed this on Thursday in Maiduguri, the Borno capital, when he received a committee of members of the house of representatives.
Zulum, who said more than 700,000 IDPs in Monguno, and 400,000 in Gamboru Ngala, have no access to their farmlands, added that the continued stay of able-bodied people in the IDP camps presents a serious problem which could worsen the crisis.
“The only solution we have now is to ensure the safe return of our people to their homes in a dignified manner. If nothing is done, believe me sincerely, we shall face a very serious challenge even more than what we are facing now,” he said.
“This is because right now, the insurgents are recruiting many of our children into the sect because of the increasing unemployment rate.”
The governor advised the house committee members who are in Maiduguri for an oversight function at the North-East Development Commission, to move from short-term humanitarian support to long-term development.
He also urged them to work out sustainable policies to ensure the safe return of IDPs to their communities.