The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, Tuesday visited a rehabilitation centre for victims of Boko Haram and an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri.
During the visit, Gutteres, who showed concern over the plight of the affected persons, expressed UN commitment to continue to support measures to ameliorate their sufferings.
He said Boko Haram insurgents would soon disappear because they had already been weakened.
“I am very impressed in the IDP camps to see that what they want is not food, support, blankets. And of course, what they want to be able to go back homes in dignity and safety… but I understand the dimensions of the problems required much more resources.
“My appeal to the international community would be and my appeal to the UN system would be to support Borno State, to address the need of the population.
“I saw the people who had suffered, smiling and hoping for the future. I saw ex-combatants, ex-terrorists, trying to re-integrate into the society. I discover here in Borno, if you shoot the terrorists, of course, that won’t stop terrorism. You have to address the root causes and the governor is determined to address the root causes of the problem.
“Here, I found the government committed to establishing confidence in the people and seeking humanitarian for the people who are suffering and seeking the future for the people,” he also said.
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who briefed the secretary on the situation in Borno, lauded UN for its support to the state and urged for more.
Zulum said many of the IDPs had stayed for several years in camps and were eager to return to their recovered homes but the destroyed structures were yet to be reconstructed.
He urged for more UN support in the ongoing rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of the IDPs.
At the rehabilitation home, the Borno Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, said from 2016 to date, the centre had rehabilitated 7,039 women and children affected by the insurgency.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UN secretary, who was scheduled to address the press in Maiduguri, could not visit the border town of Banki as earlier scheduled because of time factor.