Return of Baga IDPs, Sept 26 feasible – Zulum

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno state Monday constituted a 22-man high powered committee comprising top government functionaries with a mandate to ensure sustainable return of all the IDPs from Baga town to their ancestral homes on 26th September, 2020.

Members of the committee included representatives of National Assembly, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Security Civil Defence Corps, State Security Service, Civilian Joint Task Force, humanitarian and development partners, vigilante hunters, community leaders and traditional leaders among others.

Inaugurating the high powered committee at the Government House council chambers, Maiduguri, Governor Zulum said “Sequel to the reply Borno state government received in response to our official letter to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, informing  him of our intention to return the Baga IDPs, back to the ancestral homes to continue with their normal life and livelihoods on 26th August 2020,he replied that it is possible for the IDPs to return on 26th September 2020 instead of 26th August 2020 which the state government fixed.

“Sequel to the response of the COAS of the Nigerian Army, Borno state government swung into action for the return of the IDPs .

“And in order to ensure smooth and quick return of the people of Baga, the committee had to work assiduously round the clock to ensure successful return of the people.

“The committee in any capacity has to achieve this to actualise the return of the IDPs on that date by making it a reality. You have about a month or less than 30 days to ensure the sustainability of the town and mechanism on ground for the livelihoods of the returnees,” Zulum said.

He stated further that,  “Following my visit to Baga town on Wednesday, 29th July 202, to assess the security situation on ground and structures available with a view to return Baga people back to their ancestral homes to live a better life by engaging in their socio economic activities of fishing, farming and trading, Borno state government constituted a committee of top government functionaries including representatives of NA,  NN, NPF, NSCDC, SSS,  CJTF,  NEMA, SEMA, vigilante hunters, Humanitarian and Development partners,  community leaders and traditional leaders to commence immediately the rehabilitation of all public and private buildings.

There will also be repairs to basic facilities and amenities, residential houses, schools, healthcare facilities, markets, motor parks or garages, boreholes or water supply sources, offices,  etc.

The 22-man committee is headed by the Borno state Commissioner of Justice and state Attorney General, Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan and Permanent Secretary,  Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Abba Yusuf, as secretary of the committee.