Yobe IDPs return to farms —Investigation

Hundreds of returnees displaced by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in some communities in Yobe have returned to their farmlands, a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has said.

A NAN correspondent who visited Goniri, Katarko, Gotula and Ngurbuwa villages reported that many of the returnees, who left their settlements almost three years ago, have massively re-engaged in farming activities.

Malam Umar Usman, a resident of Nguburwa, told NAN that they returned to their farms after relocating to their communities.

“Agriculture is our mainstay and we were denied of farming activities by the Boko Haram insurgents following the capture of our communities and displacement of our people.

“We are now back and re-engaged in agricultural production,’’ he said.

Another farmer, Bukar Kolo, said himself and other farmers were taking advantage of the rainy season to till their farmlands.

“We are taking advantage of the cropping season to improve our lives,” he said.

Musa Garba and Kakami Baba of Katarko and Goniri  villages, respectively, lauded the state government and humanitarian organisations for providing them with farm inputs.

Alhaji Musa Jidawa, the executive secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said the agency in collaboration with Victims Support Fund (VSF), had launched a N135-million agricultural empowerment programme for 2,000 households in two villages.

Jidawa said the two villages were, Gujba and Gulani Local Government Areas.

He said that the empowerment programme also provided improved seeds, fertilizer, herbicides and cash assistance to returnees in Buni-Yadi and Gulani to encourage agricultural production.

He said that Yobe State government also distributed bags of rice, millet and sorghum to the people to support their resettlement process.

Some of the returnees commended the efforts of the state government and humanitarian organizations for providing them with farm inputs.

They said that farming was their major trade and they have taken the advantage of the season to improve their livelihoods.