Majority of the 1.8 million internally displaced persons in Borno State said they are still scared of going back to their communities months after the military liberated them from Boko Haram control, a new study by the Norwegian Refugee Council, NRC, reveals.
The report comes at a time when about a dozen persons from Bama Local Government Area, one of the largest communities displaced by Boko Haram, are being held in prison custody as they face trial for leading IDPs to stage a street protest asking government to allow them return home.
The NRC said: “When 86 per cent of people tell us they aren’t ready to go home yet, we must listen. This cannot fall on deaf ears,” warned Jan Egeland, NRC Secretary General, who is currently visiting Nigeria.
“People must decide to return of their own free will. Coercing communities to move home is a deadly recipe set to worsen the conflict.”