Over 200,000 people who fled the country as a result of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East are yet to be repatriated, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State said this at the weekend.
The governor, therefore, called on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Repatriation, Returns and Resettlement of Displaced Persons in the North East, to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari gives immediate approval in terms of funding and other logistics required for the re-establishment of the destroyed communities in Borno State.
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The call came as the Vice President has assured that Nigerians displaced in the North East who are still in Cameroon would be coming home soon as the Presidential Committee on the Repatriation, Returns and Resettlement of Displaced Persons in the North-East has ordered the immediate resumption of their repatriation.
There are thousands of Nigerian refugees in the neighboring countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon who are due for repatriation to their homes in Nigeria.
Speaking when he presented the report of the Technical Working Group (TWG) to the Vice President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Prof. Zulum, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Committee, said within the last few years, about 50,000 people have repatriated.
The governor, while speaking with State House reporters at the end of the meeting, said, “Mr President has inaugurated a committee few months ago that will look into the repatriation of indigenes of Borno State and other states of the North East that are living in the Republic of Chad, Cameroon as well as Niger.
“Sequel to his inauguration, the Vice President inaugurated the technical working group, sub-committee, which is headed by my humble self. We presented the report to the Vice President with a view to ensuring that the repatriation exercise from Cameroon will continue immediately while the repatriation of Nigerians that are living in the Republic of Niger and the Republic of Chad will resume very soon.”
Asked on the number of displaced people that have been repatriated, the Borno State governor said, “Within the last few years, we have repatriated nothing fewer than 50,000 people but we still have more than 200,000.
“So, what we are looking now is to see how we can repatriate indigenes of Borno State that are living in Niger especially those that are from Malumfatori, Abadam Local Government Area that are willing to come back. While we have those from Gwoza Local Government Area, Bama Local Government Area mainly that leaving from Cameroon; they are also willing to come. We also have indigenes of Kukawa and Marte Local Government Areas that are living that living in Chad. So, I think the Vice President will do the needful to ensure that the president gives immediate approval in terms of funding and other logistics required for the re-establishment of these communities in Borno State.”
Asked on the present security situation in the state, the governor said, “The security situation has greatly improved.”
President Buhari had in February inaugurated the Presidential Committee on the Repatriation, Returns and Resettlement of Displaced Persons in the North-East, designating the Vice President as the chairman.