Over 200,000 persons displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency are yet to be repatriated in the North-East.
This is according to Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who is now looking for President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for funds to re-establish crisis-affected communities in the state.
The people fled their communities to become refugees in neighbouring countries following constant attacks on them by the insurgents.
Zulum, who is the vice-chairman of the Presidential Committee on Repatriation, Returns and Resettlement of Displaced Persons in the Northeast, made the declaration while presenting the report of the Technical Working Group (TWG) to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the weekend at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor said that within the last few years, about 50,000 people have been repatriated.
He called on the Vice President who is Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Repatriation, Returns and Resettlement of Displaced Persons in the Northeast, to ensure that President Buhari gives immediate approval in terms of funding and other logistics required for the re-establishment of the destroyed communities in Borno State.
Osinbajo, on his part, has assured that Nigerians displaced in the North-East who are still in Cameroon would be coming home soon as the Presidential Committee has ordered the immediate resumption of their repatriation.
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Speaking with correspondents at the end of the meeting with the Vice President, Zulum said: “Mr President has inaugurated a committee a few months ago that will look into the repatriation of indigenes of Borno State and other states of the Northeast 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.”
When asked how many displaced persons that had 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.”
On the present security situation in the state, the governor said, “The security situation has greatly improved.”
The Presidential Committee on the Repatriation, Returns and Resettlement of Displaced Persons in the North-East, inaugurated by President Buhari in February.