By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum on Monday inaugurated a 24- member committee to fast track ongoing reconstruction works, facilitate the full return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and restoration of civil authority comprising Policemen, Civilian JTF, Hunters, Local Government officials among others in Mallam -Fatori, the Local Government Headquarters of Abadam, and all other communities in the council area.
Mallam Fatori is a town located on the fringes of Lake Chad and shares an international border with Bosso communities of the Niger Republic, which has remained inhabitable for many years due to the activities of insurgents.
Zulum said, one of his campaign promises is to ensure the safe return of IDPs back to their ancestral homes in a dignified manner, stressing that, it is against the backdrop of the gradual return of peace and successes recorded by gallant troops that informed the government’s decision to relocate all IDPs back home.
The Governor said the government is concerned about the plights of its people, hence, it is ready to deploy all the needed resources and support to ensure the safe return of all IDPs pick up their pieces and begin a better livelihood.
Zulum also enjoined the committee which is tasked with the responsibility of relocating all IDPs to Abadam communities including Malam Fatori town to encourage all returnees to actively participate in farming activities to improve their economic conditions.
He, therefore, commended the Theatre Commander, Major General Musa Christopher, his troops and other security agencies for their sustained efforts towards the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the state.
The first phase of the relocation according to Zulum is “Mallam Fatori community, after which, other communities would follow suit, while Gudumbali, the headquarters of Guzamala Local Government Area, Kareto community in Damasak and Kirenoa in Marte local government Area would soon have a committee to relocate IDPs back home.
“The terms of reference include; ensure the safe return of IDPs back to Mallam Fatori, ensure restoration of civil authorities, provide food and non-food items to all the returnees, provide potable drinking water, health care services, social amenities and return of Civilian Joint Task Force and Hunters even before the relocation exercise,” Zulum stated.
Responding, the Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Christopher who witnessed the ceremony which took place at the Council Chambers, Government House, Maiduguri, thanked Borno State Government under the leadership of professor Zulum for the support troops received in the fight against terrorism.
“It is our desire to see that all IDPs have returned back to their ancestral homes, and we as security agencies will give our total support and commitment to end the madness of Boko Haram in the region”. General Christopher stated.
Speaking on behalf of the Committee, its Chairman, Engineer Bukar Talba who is also the Commissioner Ministry of Agriculture, assured that they will do justice and will not leave any stone unturned to ensure the safe return of the IDPs back to their ancestral homes.
Other members of the committee has Commissioner Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, RRR, Engineer Mustapha Gubio as Co-Chairman, representatives of security agencies, Zonal Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency, Wagami Lydia, member representing Abadam at the Borno State House of Assembly, Hon Jamna Bong among others.