Following incessant attacks that affected civilian populace, the House of Representatives yesterday asked the Nigerian army to relocate Giwa barracks to outskirts of Galtimari, Borno State.
The House also expressed worry that the barracks was also close to the University of Maiduguri.
Members took the decision on the heels of motion by Rep. Satomi Ahmed from Borno State at Tuesday plenary.
Ahmed told the House that the barracks is surrounded by the civilian population who had fallen victims of Boko Haram attacks in recent times.
He said: “The House notes that Giwa barracks, located in Galtimari Area of Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, was originally built as a military school for signals and communications but later converted in 1979 to serve as the office of the Brigade Commander of the 21 Armoured Brigade;
“Also, note that the barracks has been attacked several times by Boko Haram insurgents as detainees in the barracks are mostly confirmed or suspected members of Boko Haram and their families;
“Recalls that the first attack on the barracks by the insurgents was on 14 March 2014 in a bid to free some of their members, and in the process, hundreds of people were killed within and around the barracks which included inhabitants of surrounding areas;
“Also recalls that in 2015 the barracks was also attacked three times, in January, February and May respectively and suicide bombers had attempted to bomb the barracks on occasions, the incidents that forced residents near the barracks to relocate;
“Aware that the population of Galtimari ward has over the time, expanded and therefore the barracks is now surrounded by civilian settlements, which incidentally makes it prone to more attacks;
“Concerned that the security challenges in the area make the military and its formation the first target of Boko Haram insurgents thus endangering the lives of civilians around the barracks”,
Adopting the motion, the House urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai to, as a matter of urgency, commence the process of relocating Giwa Barracks to the outskirts of Galtimari in the area laying between Bale Kura and Yawuri village or 10 kilometres away from the University of Maiduguri.
It also urges him to donate the facilities in the Barracks to Borno State Government after relocation for use as Training Centre for the unemployed youths and victims of Boko Haram Insurgency
Committees on Defence, Army and Appropriations were mandated o ensure compliance by including provisions for the relocation of the Barracks in the 2020 Budget estimates.