By Abdullahi Muhammed Abuja
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State Monday dismissed claims by the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) that it has created an entity and appointed a governor in Borno state.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Zulum said he’s in charge of governance in the state.
“As far as I’m concerned. I’m the governor of Borno State and I don’t have any information that we have another government in a Nigerian state. Yes. And I’m very much in charge,” he said.
The governor said he was at the State House to seek presidential assistance to repatriate over 200,000 Borno indigenes who fled to Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic as as result of insurgency.
“Now that we have started witnessing gradual return of peace to Borno State, these people that are taking refuge in our neighbouring countries are willing to return home. “Therefore, Borno State government picked a date of 27th of November 2021 for the commencement of the repatriation process, especially to local government areas of Abadam and Guzamala.
“So, I came to brief Mr. President, to solicit his support, with the view to ensuring hitch-free repatriation exercise,” he said.
On what would take to implement the repatriation, the governor said: “I can’t quantify, but I think the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs with its agencies; NEMA, the Refugee Commission and indeed the Northeast Development Commission, lastly the Borno State government, have the capacity to shoulder the responsibility of the repatriation exercise.”
He said the state government is working to ensure that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps are returned to their communities. “On the issue of internally displaced persons, yes the IDP camps are not palatable, that is why the government of Borno state and indeed the federal government, are exploiting the potentials of resettling them back to their own communities or relocating them to areas that are safe,” he said.