Bama IDPs’ return hinges on military assurances – Gov Shettima

Borno state Governor, , Kashim Shettima, has said that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Bama local government will return in batches to their re-built communities after assurance by the military of security of the area.

Shettima said he would adhere to global standard for returning displaced persons to their homes rather than bowing to mob pressure.
“We have to put in place all the necessary mechanism before they begin to return,” said Mr. Shettima.

“We can’t be intimidated to follow the mob, we have to do the right thing for the people to return to their homes”.

Shettima spoke upon his arrival in Bama on Thursday shortly after he was received by the military commander of the troops in the state’s second largest town that has become a ghostly community.

The state government had earlier announced that IDPs will begin returning home from Monday April 2.

The decision was taken after the military opened the Bama-Maiduguri road that had not been used by civilians four years after Boko Haram captured it.

Shettima, on arrival at Bama, stayed in the town for two days to personally inspect the building preparatory for the return of the displaced residents.
Premium Times correspondent, who was also in the town for an assessment of the situation of the massively destroyed town, noted that “it takes more than an hour to make a trip from Maiduguri to Bama due to serious damage to the 75km Trunk-A road that is dotted by gaping potholes once used to bury landmines”.

The military had to clear all the road side bushes and trees to prevent Boko Haram hiding in them to carry out attacks.
More than a dozen villages and hamlets that used to be on both sides of the road between Konduga and Bama have been totally destroyed and deserted.

The military, Premium Times learnt, had to use earth movers to grind down the remaining walls of the destroyed communities to deny Boko Haram using them as shield to stage attacks on travelers. It is doubtful if such annihilated communities would ever be occupied again.

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