•Targets May for resettlement
Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, yesterday, paid an assessment visit to Malam-Fatori, a former Boko Haram stronghold on the shores of the Lake Chad, during which he approved armoured carriers and patrol vehicles, among others, for the troops.
He also disclosed that his purpose was to see for himself the clearance process in the town and to also offer support to the military ahead of his target for safe and voluntary return of refugees from to Malam-Fatori community, targeting May.
Malam-Fatori is headquarters of Abadam Local Government Area (LGA) in northern Borno and is yet to be fully reoccupied by residents since Boko Haram violently took over the town around 2014 and forced residents to flee to Niger Republic. The military dislodged the insurgents but it was not clear in what year.
Zulum had visited Malam-Fatori a couple of times, first to commence reconstruction and at other times, to supervise ongoing works.
In his latest visit, the governor held interactions with troops at 68 battalion of the Nigerian Army in charge of the town, who also led the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the area.
Received by the commanding officer of 68 battalion, Malam-Fatori, Col. A. Onyeukwu, the governor announced his approval for the soon to be released armoured personnel carriers (APCs), patrol vehicles and some security gadgets for soldiers.
The support, Zulum noted, was to strengthen the military’s capacity to increase their effectiveness in the fight against insurgents, and therefore, commended the officers and men of 68 Battalion, Malam-Fatori, for their bravery and professionalism in discharging their duties.
On resettling the refugees, who are currently in neighboring Bosso, Tumur and Diffa, all in the Republic of Niger, the governor hinted that he was targeting May for resettlement of the refugees.
His words: “My main objective here is to see for myself the clearance exercise and discuss how we can return people. The town was displaced due to flood last year. We want the people to return next month (May) for normal activities to return to this part of the state, insha’Allah.
“We will give all the necessary support to the Nigerian military to make sure that this objective is achieved, insha’Allah. We call on our people to be resilient and give maximum cooperation to the security operatives working to restore normalcy.”