Katsina State government on Monday returned more than 12,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) including women and children to their Shimfida community, in Jibia Local Government Area of the state.
The IDPs were escorted home amid tight security.
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The returnees were dispersed from the area since March 10 following the abrupt withdrawal of military personnel from the area which led to incessant attacks by terrorists and left scores of people dead.
Prior to their return over 6,000 of the IDPs were camped at the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Jibia, by the state government and the council area, while others who fled to the neighbouring Niger Republic were transported into Jibia yesterday.
The chairman of the council, Bishir Sabi’u, said an initial N88.6 million was released by the state government for the exercise followed by another N18m by Governor Aminu Masari for the provision of hospital drugs and logistics for both the IDPs and essential workers at the community.
He said the governor had before the IDPs were returned spoken to President Muhammadu Buhari and was assured of adequate security.
“The reason why we are returning them is simply that some of them have started farming in the area; we want them to go back and fully commence farming activities.
“It was the army that left the area earlier that led to the sack of the community and governor Masari had spoken to President Muhammadu Buhari and approval had been given for the redeployment of the soldiers.”
Speaking, the chairman of Shimfida Youth Development Association, Sa’ad Salisu, expressed satisfaction over the level of preparation made for the return of the IDPs to their community.
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Katsina in the state house of assembly, Aliyu Abubakar, has called on the security agencies to take the fight to terrorists’ enclaves rather than wait for attacks to happen before responding.
He expressed concerns over the recent spike in terrorists’ activities in the state, especially in the urban areas, including the state capital.
He said there were plans by the lawmakers to meet with Governor Aminu Masari, and later, with President Muhammadu Buhari, to find a lasting solution to the security challenges facing the state.