Zulum To NEMA: 800,000 Borno IDPs Need Food In 11 Towns

 

Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum was yesterday at headquarters of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Abuja to demand food supplies to 800,000 internally displaced persons in critical need across 11 towns in Borno.

Zulum in a letter informed NEMA’s director-general, AVM Muhammadu Alhaji Mohammed (rtd) that IDPs in Monguno, Bama, Damboa, Gwoza, Dikwa, Gamboru, Ngala, Damasak, Banki, Pulka, and Gajiram currently need urgent access to food supplies despite sustained efforts by Borno state government, which combines humanitarian challenges with addressing other provision basic needs across the state.

The governor, however, acknowledged interventions made by NEMA, the Northeast Development Commission, and far-reaching efforts by the Nigerian Customs Service following a Presidential directive two years ago, that food seizures be used for humanitarian support in crisis areas.

Zulum noted that food interventions have to be sustained because whereas the majority of IDPs rely on agriculture as a means of livelihood, substantial portions of them cannot access their farmlands due to insurgents.

According to Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, Governor Zulum was one of the first governors to domesticate the use of armed NSCDC personnel as agro rangers, for protection of farming activities in parts of Borno State.

Even though the partnership gave birth to an increase in farming activities by IDPs in farmlands in outskirts of towns, acceleration of attacks by Boko Haram reversed fortunes, forcing thousands of displaced farmers to rely on food aid.

DG says every state wants a governor like Zulum

Meanwhile, NEMA’s DG, AVM Muhammadu Muhammed (Rtd) said yesterday for his commitment, hard work, and dedication, every state in the country would like to have Borno’s Professor Babagana Umara Zulum as their Governor.

“If you go into Maiduguri, you will be shocked, you wouldn’t believe you are in Maiduguri. I have been to Maiduguri with a special assistant to Mr. President from a particular state, he looked at me and said, can you please borrow this Zulum of a man to us?

“I am sure every state will like to have this gentleman Professor as a Governor. If there is one gentleman everybody envies, whether they are able to do what he does or not, it is Professor Zulum. And the simple fact is that we all know what is right and what is wrong is wrong and what is right can only be achieved with the fear of God” AVM Muhammadu said.

The DG assured Governor Zulum of the agency’s support to Borno state, particularly in the actualization of Borno’s 25-year development plan unveiled recently.

“Your Excellency, every staff of NEMA is willing at all times to give you 100% support in everything you need. You have been very hard. I assure you that the President, Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces has given us the mandate, he has given us the resources and has said it many times to do everything possible to support what you do, and key into the Borno State 25 year development plan” the DG added.

Borno Refugees: Zulum Meets Foreign Affairs Minister Over Repatriation From Cameroon

 

Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum Thursday met Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama to conclude intergovernmental efforts for voluntary repatriation of thousands of Borno citizens currently taking refuge in parts of Cameroon, after fleeing from Boko Haram attacks in batches, within the last six years.

The meeting which held at the federal ministry of foreign affairs in Abuja was a follow up to Zulum’s series of meetings with the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, top executives of the National Commission for refugees, migrants, and internally displaced persons, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, among and other stakeholders.

The Thursday meeting, which held behind closed doors, discussed the role of the federal ministry of foreign affairs which has the mandate to facilitate the repatriation through diplomatic channels, with the hope to undertake it, in January 2021.

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The meeting was attended by Nigeria’s serving Ambassador to China, Amb. Baba Ahmad Jidda, who was there as a statesman from Borno state.

More than 60,000 Nigerian refugees, the majority from Borno and some from Adamawa states are believed to be in Minwao camp in Cameroon, which Zulum had visited and supported with social protection relief.

The governor has also approved the ongoing construction of thousands of houses in which repatriated refugees will be permanently resettled in safe communities.

Zulum was also in the Niger Republic and the republic of chad where Borno citizens are always there as refugees who fled insurgent attacks.

In both countries, the governor authorized and supervised the distribution of food items and cash relief to thousands of families, some of whom the governor had to cross Lake Chad waters in order to reach the Baga Sola refugee camp within the Chadian border territory. N50m was distributed to 5,000 families in the area less than three weeks ago.

Within that same period, Zulum was in N’Djamena in Chad and was hosted by President Idris Deby to discuss the repatriation of thousands of Nigerian refugees, the majority from Borno.

The meeting, held at the presidential palace, was attended by Nigerian ambassador to Chad, Zannah Umar Bukar Kolo, who represented Nigeria’s federal ministry of foreign affairs.

Focus Less On IDP Camps, Zulum Tells Refugee Commission

A file photo of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.

 

Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has asked that interventions from the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and internally displaced persons should focus on creating permanent resettlement houses for displaced persons as against investing on government-controlled IDP camps.

The governor made this appeal on Wednesday in Maiduguri while hosting Senator Basheer Lado Garba Mohammed, the federal commissioner in charge of the refugee commission who led a delegation that included a representative of Qatar Foundation.

Zulum said while the state will continue to provide and coordinate donor humanitarian interventions for the welfare of displaced persons, it is, however, time to move from the phase of proliferation of IDP camps to stabilizing displaced persons by resettling them in permanent houses and providing them with means of livelihoods in safe areas that could be near existing IDP camps.

READ ALSO: Insurgents Release Three Aid Workers, Others Abducted In Borno

Zulum said: “We are happy with all your interventions. However, we will request that you do not focus on IDP camps but rather on stabilization for the IDPs and by that, I mean contributing in the construction of resettlement houses which can be allocated to households as their permanent places to live and we then provide them with means of livelihoods to sustain themselves.

“As a government, we are moving from the phase of enhancing IDP camps to resettlement. By resettlement, I do not mean having to go and build houses elsewhere, the houses could be near the IDP camps, we will provide the land.”

The Governor also said his administration has created an agency for the coordination of all humanitarian donors and development activities in the state for the purpose of streamlining so as to stop duplications and give policy direction in which case, the state government will take lead in determining its priorities and policy direction.

Senator Basheer, in his response, said Qatar foundation, a charity, and development platform, which has a representative ‎in his team, was interested in building a resettlement camp hence it required land to be allocated by the state government to which Zulum gave commitment.

The federal commissioner revealed that his commission had trained a number of displaced persons on vocational skills and established some businesses for them.

Supreme Court Upholds Election As Zulum, Kyari As Governor And Senator

 

The Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja has dismissed an appeal filed by Idris Mamman Durkwa, challenging the election of Professor Babagana Umara Zulum as Governor of Borno State.

The court also dismissed a similar appeal filed by Fati Kaakenna Alkali who was challenging the election of Senator Abubakar Shaib Kyari representing Borno north.

Five justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice John Iyang Okoro dismissed both appeals in Abuja on Thursday for lacking in merit.

Idris and Kaakenna, who separately challenged the September/October 2018 APC primaries in Borno State, had approached the supreme court after losing ‎at both the Court of Appeal in Jos and the federal high court in Maiduguri.

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‎At the supreme court, counsel to Idris and Kaakenna, I K Bawa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had filed his briefs of arguments, praying the court to invoke its powers and set aside the concurrent judgments of the court of Appeal and the Federal high court in Maiduguri.

The counsel wanted the court to remove Governor Zulum and Senator Kyari from office and declare Idris and Kaakenna validly elected as Governor and Senator.

However, counsel to Professor Zulum and Senator Kyari, Yusuf Ali, a senior advocate of Nigeria, represented in court by K.K Eleja, argued that the appeals were statute-barred hence lacking in merit. He prayed that the appeals be summarily dismissed.

Five judges of the Supreme Court agreed with the argument of the defense counsel and dismissed the two appeals.