By Ogalah Ibrahim
Katsina State Government on Monday commenced the resettlement of about 12,000 Internally Displaced Persons who abandoned their Shimfida hometown in Jibia Local Government Area since 10 March 2022 due to frequent banditry attack.
To that effect, the State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, approved an initial N88.6 million for the exercise and another N18 million for the provision of hospital drugs and logistics for both the IDPs and essential workers returning to the community.
Addressing the returnees shortly after arrival at Shimfida community, the Chairman of Jibia local government area, Hon. Bishir Sabi’u said as part of measures to ensure safety of the returnees, security personnel has been stationed in the community. He also assured the returnees of government support in the provision of food until they are able to settle down and live their normal lives.
“Some of the IDPs from Shimfida are in Jibia and others in the Niger Republic. Those in Jibia are over 6000 while those in Niger republic are also thereabout.
“The reason why we are returning them is that some of them have been craving to return back home to live their normal life. So the government decided to assist them by putting somethings in place to help them settle down again in their hometown while they look forward to the next farming season with hope.
“More than 10,000 bags of 10 kilogram rice have been purchased for onward transportation to the community for feeding, an initial 2,000 bags were sent on Monday,” Sabi’u disclosed.
The local government boss also revealed that the state government has made provision for no fewer than 1000 mattresses which are already on their way to the community to help cushion the effect on the returnees.
Sabi’u also noted that plans are underway by the government to help rebuild some of the dilapidated houses as a result of the heavy down pour experienced in the community.
According to the council boss, some of the displaced persons who relocated to the neighbouring Niger Republic earlier in the day returned back to join their colleagues in Jibia from where they embarked on the trip back to their Shimfida hometown.
Sa’ad Salisu, Chairman of Shimfida Youth Development Association, in his remarks, expressed satisfaction on the efforts of the state Government to return the IDPs to their hometown.
He however appealed to the state government to further assist them by working on the road that leads community which is in a bad state.