FORMER Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma, on Wednesday, commissioned the General Hospital, council secretariat, police station and 37 other public structures in Dikwa, Borno State, to set stage for the return of internally displaced persons to Dikwa town, headquarters of Dikwa Local Government Area.
Dikwa, which is about 80 kilometers from Maiduguri, used to be one of the strongholds of the insurgent Boko Haram before it was finally liberated by Nigerian troops.
The town is equally important for international trade within Nigeria and Chad, which is why the opening up of the town by civil authorities will mark the re-commencement of international trade between Dikwa and Ndjamena, the Chadian capital, which is just 177 kilometre away.
The Victims Support Fund chaired by General Danjuma had, two months ago, gone into a pilot partnership programme with the Borno State government towards the donation of building materials worth N200 million and cash of N50 million for labour to rebuild some of the towns.
“We gave Borno building materials worth N200 million and cash of N50 million for payment of labourers and other coordinating items to reconstruct 24 public buildings we identified in Dikwa, but to our pleasant surprise, the Borno State government used the same materials and money to reconstruct not only the 24 public buildings to standard but added 16 others. This is remarkable,” Danjuma was told by Professor Sunday Ochoche, Executive Director of the VSF.
While commissioning the 40 projects, General Danjuma said he was impressed with the “judicious use of resources by Shettima,” noting that with the attitude displayed by the governor, the Victims Support Fund had decided to make intervention on reconstruction of Bama town, the worst affected by Boko Haram occupation.