Duku JOEL, Maiduguri
The passion and commitment demonstrated by Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum to the welfare of IDPs in the state has stopped the incessant demonstration of IDPs at different camps, including Maiduguri, and other locations within the state .
The Chairperson of Borno State Emergency Management Agency (BOSEMA) Hajiya Ya’Bawa Kolo disclosed this to our correspondent in Maiduguri while responding to questions on the state of the IDP camp and their welfare.
According to her, Prof. Babagana Zulum has taken upon himself to personally make direct food distribution to IDPs as welfare monitor their welfare with an uncommon passion and enthusiasm.
“The passion and commitment of the governor to the welfare of the IDPs is exemplar. The governor is passionate about their welfare especially when it comes to food distribution and assistance. He will call me personally and ask the areas where gaps exist and he will immediately act without delay. I think this has helped in the protests that IDPs use to engage in. everyone is satisfied now.
“I remember a time we went to Monguno together with His Excellency and some team of Commissioners and the governor personally enumerated and profiled about seventeen thousand households that were not getting food from either NEMA, ACF or WFP or any other donor agencies.
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“After the profiling, the governor spent three days and distributed the token (a permit used for food collection) himself. He then stay behind and started the distribution himself. He distributed the food to over five thousand IDPs and along the way he was called for a meeting in Abuja so he cut short and left Monguno. But in his characteristics, he left strict instructions for me to finish the distribution before I leave Monguno. He wanted to finish the distribution of the over seventeen thousand households before he comes back to Maiduguri. That is Prof. Zulum for you,” the BOSEMA chairperson informed.
The BOSEMA Chairperson further explained that Zulum’s commitment does not stop at the IDPs camps but, “he is also passionate in visiting host communities and getting first hand information for their immediate need and solving such need head-on”.
Some of the challenges of the hosts communities according to her include upgrading of healthcare delivering facilities, or rebuilding entirely those that were destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents, rehabilitation of boreholes, and reactivation of dormant schools in the communities.
Another concern of Gov. Zulum to the IDPs is their relocation back to their ancestral communities and the education of the younger ones and even the matured people who may have passed school age.
According to her, Gov. Zulum has come up with the ideal of “LEARNING AT THE RIGHT AGE”. The idea is to mop-up those children that turned adult in the course of Boko Haram will not miss out school.
In the area of the livelihood of the IDPs, the governor has introduced what is known as CASH FOR WORK, stressing that, “this is a programme that the governor has undefined those IDPs that have skills in certain trades and has agreed with some partners to give them opportunities to work and earn money through their hand-work eg carpentry, plumbing, mason/building etc.”
The governor has also done well in the area of Women Empowerment through the World Bank’s Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project(MSCRP) which a substantial number of women from about 15 -17 Local Government in the state have benefited from non-agricultural kits that boost their livelihoods.