By Michael Olugbode
The Managing Director, Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA), Mr. Abba Garba, has lamented that the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east displaced no fewer than 10,000 farmers within the Chad Basin.
Garba, who spoke to journalists on Wednesday in Maiduguri, further stated that the terrorists also destroyed farming equipment and infrastructure worth billions of naira belonging to CBDA during their siege on the Chad Basin.
He said the CBDA remained the largest casualty of Boko Haram in the country, with its projects in Marte, Ngala and other parts of the North-east completely grounded and equipment totally vandalized.
Garba, who spoke on the planned return of the CBDA to the vandalized and subsequently abandoned projects in the Chad Basin towards enhancing food security in the Northeast region and the country in general, lamented that most of the registered farmers that were displaced in 2014 when the terrorists struck their project sites are living as internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the various camps in Maiduguri.
He commended the interest of the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, to reviving the farming sector in the state, noting that the governor was recently in Marte, one of their project sites where he promised to assist in reviving the projects .
He said: “In collaboration with us, he (Borno State governor) has already started rehabilitating the burnt down houses with a view to relocating the farmers out of the IDPs camps to the farming sites in New Marte.
“In New Marte, we had about 4,000 registered farmers, while in Ngala, which is another project site in the Basin, we had about 1,500 registered farmers who were all displaced by the insurgency.”
He regretted that at present, of the 90 per cent Borno residents who are farmers, 40 to 50 per cent of them are living in IDPs camps, depending on NGOs and governments to feed daily.
He said with the relative peace in the state and massive rehabilitation of structures and replacement of equipment destroyed by the terrorists, food and economic life of the North-east region would soon be revived.
He said the staff need not be afraid of their security, noting that most of the areas such as Marte and Ngala have adequate security presence with troops on ground regularly.