“We must, first, acknowledge that Governor Zulum has distinguished himself as a decisive and visionary leader in the midst of overwhelming bloody crises despite several threats to his life. We are however worried about his recent campaign to see the refugees return home. While this is the right thing to think about, the right steps to take in leadership, has he considered the safety of the refugees when those at home do not feel safe at all?”

One of Nigeria’s worst disasters is the growing number of internally displaced victims of violent conflicts, especially in the North-east, North-west, and North-central. Hundreds and thousands of persons, including women and children, have been rendered homeless and their means of livelihood utterly destroyed. Research is still ongoing to aggregate the exact figures and extent of the damage.

Besides, there are deep pains among the people, especially those who have lost loved ones to death or far-flung unknown destinations. Several missing persons are still unaccounted for and there is a high level of anxieties, tears, and inconsolable agonies. Yet, there is no certainty that the problem will end.

In the midst of this, there is a growing concern being expressed by the government of Borno State on the need for governments and stakeholders at all levels to join hands together and work towards improved welfare of thousands of people affected by insurgency in the state. Above all, the state government is eager to see that all refugees who are taking shelter in neighboring countries return to their homes safely.

Last week, at the stakeholders’ implementation meeting on the Global Compact of Refugees in Abuja, organized by the Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Management Affairs in collaboration with the United Nations Refugees Agency (UNHCR), Governor Babagana Zulum made a passionate appeal to the federal government to assist the government in this regard.

It is notable that part of the objectives of the UN Global Compact on Refugees is to support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.

According to Zulum, “We need to follow-up commitment with action,  which is very important. One of the importance of this Global Compact of Refugees is to support citizens of countries of origin for the return of refugees back to their home country. I am of the view that we should first look at how we can help to support Nigerians who are taking refuge in another country, especially those who are living in the neighboring Niger Republic as well as the Republic of Cameroon who has been agitating in the past.

“This is very important because we have over 200,000 from Borno State who is now refugees in countries like Cameroon, Republic of Niger, and Chad. The government of Borno is willing to support and work with the humanitarian sector to ensure the return of Nigerian refugees in other countries”, he stated.

We must, first of all, acknowledge that Governor Zulum has distinguished himself as a decisive and visionary leader in the midst of overwhelming bloody crises despite several threats to his life. We are, however, worried about his recent campaign to see the refugees return home. While this is the right thing to think about, the right steps to take in leadership, has he considered the safety of the refugees when those at home do not feel safe at all?


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