The Emir of Gwoza in Borno State, Mohammed Shehu-Timta, has returned home following relative peace and security five years after displacement from the kingdom by Boko Haram insurgents.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that mammoth crowd gathered at Pulka and major streets in Gwoza metropolis on Monday to give the first-class traditional ruler a rousing welcome.
Mr Shehu-Timta who was accompanied by the Deputy Governor of the state, Usman Kadafur, Ali Ndume, the senator for Borno South, members of the state House of Assembly and village heads, among others, was received in a colourful celebration showcased with a martial display of Gwoza culture at the emir’s palace.
Addressing the people, Governor Babagana Umara said the return of the monarch signified the return of civic authority in the local institution.
Represented by Mr Kadafur, the governor said his administration accord high respect and commitment to the traditional institution, describing it as a “symbol and pride of every society’’.
“I felicitate with the Emir and people of Gwoza over the official relocation and return of our Emir back to his palace after years in Maiduguri.
“This administration will not afford to toy with the people of Gwoza and the traditional institution.
“I, therefore, call on you to support the Emir and security agencies to end insurgency in order to move the emirate forward.
“The government is not unaware of the numerous challenges related to the relocation of the Emir. We are going to accelerate the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Gwoza General Hospital, water sources, and other public utility buildings, among others,” he said.
According to him, the government will fast track construction of the mega schools to enable the students to resume classes.
Speaking earlier, Mr Shehu-Timta said he voluntarily returned home to build confidence and encouraged his subjects to also return home and go back to their normal livelihood.
He recalled when the insurgents sacked the town in 2014, killings dozens of people, declaring the town as their spiritual caliphate.
He said: “Dozens of my people ran for their lives and became Internally Displaced Persons in Maiduguri, Adamawa, Abuja, and Lagos, while some fled to Cameroon.
“Today’s is my happiest day in the life as I officially returned back to my domain after been displaced by insurgents.
“I, therefore, call all people of Gwoza to come back home, so that we will rebuild our communities.”