By Bode Olushegun
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum has said that no internally displaced persons (IDPs) will be forced to relocate from the resettlement camps or made to face undignified treatment.
Speaking to Borno members in the National Assembly, led by Senator Kashim Shettima, who paid him a sympathy visit over the attack on his convoy by Boko Haram at the weekend, Zulum said the state would keep by the Kampala Convention of the United Nations, which “highlights rules of resettlement of refugees and internally displaced persons.”
Responding to the lawmakers who paid the visit on Monday, Zulum expressed his appreciation for the visit, and clarified that despite Nigeria not being a party to the Kampala Convention, “Borno State Government has been in compliance with all the resettlement protocols.”
He promised that internally displaced persons will be relocated voluntarily and in a dignified manner.
It would be recalled that the convoy of the governor was attacked on Friday and Sunday during a visit to Baga to supervise the ongoing resettlement of IDPs in the riverine town.
Speaking on behalf of the lawmakers, Shettima who was the former governor of the state but now a senator representing Borno Central, said: “Your Excellency, we are here along with our distinguished Senators and other members of our caucus in the National Assembly to sympathise with you, and to commiserate with you over the sad incident that happened a couple of days ago.
“I had a chat with you last night; you actually made effort to dissuade us from coming. But we felt we are morally obliged to come and sympathise with you, to pray for the repose of the souls of the departed and also pray to Allah (SWT) to give you the strength to lead our state in this trying moment.
“Our coming is purely a sympathy cum solidarity visit; we are not here to make loud pronouncement or long speeches. You are our leader, a mishap happened on the road and when you are coming back as well; so, we felt morally compelled, and it is morally imperative to come and sympathise with you.
“May Allah continue to envelope you with his mercy and protection, as well as members of your team.”
He added that: “And for those our gallant officers and men of the Nigerian armed forces, our Civilian JTF who paid the supreme price, may their souls rest in peace.”