By SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri-
The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has flagged off the resettlement of 1,153 IDPs to their ancestral homes in Damboa, Bama, Abadam, Mobbar, Guzamala and Konduga LGAs of the state.
This is in fulfilment of Governor Zulum’s pledge to relocate all IDPs occupying public property especially schools in Maiduguri Metropolis in order to put the educational facilities into proper use before the end of the year.
The relocation exercise is being conducted in a joint efforts by the Borno Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) as well as NEMA.
Chairman of the Relocation Committee who is also the State Commissioner of RRR, Engineer Mustapha Gubio, while addressing the IDPs, said the exercise is line with the state government’s determination and commitment to close all IDPs camps and resettle those households willing to return back to their ancestral homes to enable them continue with their normal life.
He added that it was also aimed at reopening the schools occupied by the IDPs and make them functional by allowing full academic activities in the schools which was converted to IDPs camps in the past
According to him, there were over 703 IDPs from Damboa, Bama and Konduga LGAs which were relocated to Auno Town and allocated houses at the newly constructed housing estates meant for the IDPs.
He added that about 500 households who were willingly to move to their ancestral homes, were given three choices of houses to choose from.
“Whether they want to return willingly back to their ancestral homes or be given N100,000 reintegration subsidy to rent a house in Maiduguri or return back to their ancestral homes and be given an apartment at the newly completed housing estate in Auno Town which is located 25 kilometres away from Maiduguri city”, he said.
He further explained that for each of the IDP households, both the husband’s and wives (males and females households) were given N50,000 as stabilization support fund to enable them resettle comfortably and conveniently while adequate security provision have been put in place in all the resettles estates to provide security to the returnee IDPs in every LGA.
On her part, The Director General of SEMA, Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, said the resettlement exercise is a continued process which is intended to last to the end of the year.
According to her, the relocation exercise has been phased into categories, where the first phase ofrelocation has kicked started with those IDPs at The NYSC Camp which accommodated IDPs from Damboa, Bama, Konduga and few Jere LGAs IDPs.
According to her, “The MOGOLIS IDPs Camp was also part of the first phase and until the first phase is successful before the second phase which will commence soon and will involve the Customs House IDPs Camp, The Haruna Alala IDPs Camp and Farm Center IDPs Camp among others” .
Some returnee IDPs expressed gratitude to the state government for their welfare and relocating them back to their ancestral homes.
“We are very grateful to the governor for this gesture and hope he will not forget us by investigating from time to time to see how we are faring,” Grema and Kolomi said.
In his remark, a member representing Mobbar LG Constituency , Hon. Usman Lawan Moruma commended Governor Zulum for his efforts, determination and fulfilment of his pledges while appealing to the returnee IDPs to shun drugs abuse and smoking as well as idleness, pointing out that, idleness is a devil workshop.
He charged them to properly utilize the cash support and food items as well as condiments given to them to earn a good living and relief themselves from the shackles of congestion, freedom, unemployment and other social vices