Governor Shettima’s temporary relocation to Bama recently to fast-track the reconstruction works going on in the local government was greeted with mixed reactions. Bama local government was attacked by Boko Haram in September of 2014. It was one of the most devastating attacks carried out by Boko Haram since its inception in 2009 where hundreds of people and properties were destroyed.
However Bama was recaptured by the Nigerian Military in 2015. As the military continue to clear the remnant of the insurgence, the federal and state government have been stepping up effort to return and resettle the IDPs to their communities. It was to fasten these processes that Gov. Kashim temporarily moved to the place. This decision was commended by many who saw it as a display of exemplary leadership and a moral boost to the people.
Halima Bumala an IDP from Bama said, ‘I have never been more confident about the situation and therefore looking forward to returning home any time soon’. ‘I and my husband are very thankful to his Excellency the Governor of Borno State, for showing such concern to us, Mrs Fanna Zangari who was separated from her daughter said. A wheelbarrow pusher living in the host community Ibrahim Banki, said; ‘ if I were afraid before, the governor’s visit has given me more hope’.
However, some sons and daughters of Bama including the elite raised some concerns regarding that. Abba Bukar Abba Massa, a major commentator on Bama and a victim of the 2014 attack, in an article titled ‘Bama; let there be constructive reconstruction’, raised concerns over the modality and approaches to the whole reconstruction saga.
‘The real issue on ground is in the details of the processes, the approaches and the general way it is being done. Reports coming out from the ‘scene’ have been that the rebuilding works are being done haphazardly, in a rush and in most cases, without assessment of the strength/weakness of the existing ‘remnant’ structures’, he wrote.
The governor has since return to resume work in the capital City of Maiduguri after the assessment tour that lasted for a week.
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