The Borno state government has said that after careful and meticulous assessment of the overall security situation in Bama town and its surroundings as well as the massive reconstruction there , it has resolved that the time is now ripe and the atmosphere favourable for the IDPs to go back to their homes in phases.
Briefing newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri, the Secretary to the State Government ( SSG), Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa said the first phase of movment is scheduled to commence on Monday April 2, 2018.
Alhaji Shuwa said towards this end , adequate arrangements and sufficient preparations are being put in place to guarantee seamless return and hitch-free resettlement of the IDPs, adding that in the first place, a special template is being designed to capture the essential personal data of all prospective returnees , for the purpose of easy identification and security clearance.
He said,” All IDPs, who have been shortlisted to return, would be accompanied by their respective District and Ward Heads.Adequate security would also be provided for them by not only our conventional security agencies like the police , SSS and Army, but also by vigilante groups and hunters.
“All these measures are part of the state government’s strategic plans to ensure the safety and security of the returnees and also to forestall any likely breach of the peace by remnants of the insurgents’ who may take advantage of the situation to infiltrate among the returnees to cause further destruction.
“ Also, as part of the well articulated efforts of the state government to achieve the desired objective , Governor Kashim Shettima has given firm directives to the commissioners of Health , Water Resources and Poverty Alleviation to ensure that all essential services and faciltites in Bama town are put in place before the return of the IDPs.
“ In furtherance of the State govenment’s avid determination to ensure the restoration of appreciable degree of normalcy in Bama, we are also calling on the Presidential Committee on The Northeast Initiative (PCNI), to, without further delay, commence the immediate
implementation of the Bama Initiative, which essentially seeks to , reconstruct and develop the infrastructural faciltites of Bama town and its environs, particularly, the road networks within the Bama town and those connecting it to other areas,” Shuwa added.
The SSG said to establish and sustain the continous presence of civil order among the returnees , all relevant federal agencies have been urged to also relocate to Bama , as their services are not just integral part of daily lives , but also critical block in the overall security architecture required to maintain law and order to guarantee the civil duties of the returnees.
Also speaking , the Transition and Ressettlement committee chairman, Abba Jato Mohammed said the three categories of the IDPs returning are those in the IDPs camps, those in the host communities and those coming as refugees from neighbouring countries.
He added that the first phase will involve about 120,000 Bama IDPs from various camps in Maiduguri returning home before those in the host communities will follow after their verifications and data collections.
“ Civil authority has been established and all relevant agencies are there including state agencies and reliably, we have over 11,000 private homes apart from public buildings that have been rebuilt. And for IDPs that met their homes not completed, the state government has pledged to assist such IDPs with the required funds to rehablitate or effect the necessary repairs in their residential buidings,” Mohammed said.