Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, has said that one of the reasons for shutting down camps for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri, the capital, was because they were being used for criminal activities.
He said, “We closed the IDP camps to clean up the places and give our people dignity as well as purpose.
“Living in IDP camp is not what we are used to or what we like as a people. Therefore, we believe that a safe life of dignity is a right for all citizens of Borno and indeed Nigeria.
“The IDP camps were becoming a slum where all kinds of vices were happening, including prostitution, drugs and thuggery in some cases. No responsible leadership will allow people to live an undignified life under its watch.
“The idea of IDP camp was and remains an interim measure to provide safety especially during the peak of the insurgency. Consequently, the camps were not meant to continue forever.
“The question of closure of the camp was not a matter of if but when. Efficient managers would agree that there is no better time than now to get things done.
“As part of the closure, we continue to learn lessons, adapt our strategy and make necessary changes as we go along.
“The worst option would be to do nothing. We are not prepared to do nothing. Rather we are ready to do whatever it takes to restore the dignity of our people.”
He added that leaving the camps running without a specific period for shutdown wouldn’t be sustainable, especially with the current structures in place.
He added, “Keeping the camp open endlessly is not sustainable. This is because it becomes difficult to plan effectively for the dignified economic and social development of the people.
“The IDP camps would also eventually become too expensive to run with a possibility of causing far more harm than good.”