Governor Babagana Zullum has inaugurated two committees in order to return residents to Marte and some Gworza communities. This is in agreement with his resettlement plan to relocate internally displaced persons to six towns of the state, which was deserted by residents due to the high rate of security crisis. Marte community which was once a commercial business hub in Borno state was wasted during the Boko Haram invasion. Thousands of their residents have been in the Internally Displaced Persons camp for more than 6 years. This affected areas like Kirawa and her neighboring communities whose residents have been in Pulka and in various IDP camps in Cameroon.
Governor Zullum set up the committees to embark on reconstruction and resettlement in the towns due to the agitation by the residents of these communities to return home.
Mallam Isa Gusau, spokesman of the governor issued a statement yesterday stating that the governor has inaugurated two committees to complete ongoing reconstruction works and facilitate the full restoration of civil authority comprising of policemen, Civilian JTF, local government officials, and magistrate courts in six towns located in Marte and Gwoza Local Government Areas of the state.
The statement said the two committees, which have security officials among their members, are to undertake resettlement at Marte in Borno North as well as Ngoshe, Kirawa, Hambagda, Ashigashiya and Warabe in Gwoza LGA of Borno South. He said that all safety measures and essential public services are put in place before activating the resettlement.
Mustapha Gubio, the State Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR) will lead the committee on Marte, while Saleh Vungas, Commissioner for Housing and Energy will lead the committee on Gwoza. Members of the two committees also include representatives of communities and humanitarian actors.
Governor Zulum stated at the Government House, venue of the inauguration, that ‘the committees are to continue with the rehabilitation and reconstruction works in Marte and Kirawa/Ngoshe to undertake palliative repairs of Marte and Ngoshe/Kirawa roads in collaboration with the soldiers of the Nigerian Army, in order to put in place all requirements that will ensure safety of lives and property of returnees; facilitate the establishment of civil authorities on ground; identify IDPs willing to return home, and address any other matter that is incidental to the smooth return and safety of lives and property of the returnees.’
He added that the state resettlement drive was to help citizens start over again after many years of displacement. He also promised that the government would help the returnees to engage in agricultural and other economic activities that will make them self-reliant and be meaningful members of the state.
Displeased at the high rate of poverty in the state, especially within the IDPs, he said the insurgents capitalized on this to recruit a lot of able-bodied youths in the state. He also said he was very mindful of the security situation in the state and therefore, asked the committees to carry out their duties with all sense of responsibility.
He said,‘We should not be in haste. We should not force anyone to return. Although there is an increasing demand from the IDPs to return home, don’t force anyone.’
In response to the statement made by the Governor, Gubio, the RRR Commissioner assured them on behalf of both committees that they would do all in their powers to discharge their assignments.
Photo Credits: bbc, and pgfnigeria