BY YUNUSA BUNU, OCTOBER 29, 2021 | 12:01 PM
Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, Governor of Borno has visited Malamfatori, headquarters of Abadam Local Government to assess the level of preparations ahead of the proposed resettlement of the people.
The town, which is one of the remotest part of the state, used to be one of the most dreaded hideouts of the Boko Haram terrorists, who forced the people to flee to neighboring Niger.
The governor left Maiduguri on Monday to Diffa and later proceeded to Bosso, all in Niger Republic to meet the refugees, who stay in the town since their displacement between 2014 and 2015.
The governor has previously picked November as the date to resettle the town, in his insistence to restore the state back to normalcy.
Last week Friday, he was at the presidential villa to inform the president on the preparations to resettle the refugees and close all internally displaced persons camps in the state by end of the year.
From Bosso, Zulum on Wednesday moved to Malamfatori, to inspect ongoing reconstruction works and buildings in the deserted town.
His visit was the latest of more than five previous ones, for assessments and reconstruction of homes and public services destroyed by the terrorists during their violent occupation.
Last July, he inaugurated a committee to work out modalities for the swift reconstruction and resettlement of the town, same way communities in Baga, Banki and Marte, among others, were rebuilt and resettled.
Zulum explained that safe relocation of civilian population to Malamfatori will hopefully commence by end of November 2021, after which government will explore the possibility of returning people to Abadam town, which was also occupied by insurgents.
The governor expressed appreciation to the Muhammadu Bazoum, President of Niger Republic, Issa Lameen, the Governor of Diffa Province, and humanitarian players for their support to the refugees, since the displacement in 2014.
During his two days stay in Niger Republic, Zulum also supervised the distribution of N28 million to the over 3, 911 families taking refuge in Bosso.
Of these, 2,150 were female heads of households, while the remaining 1,761 were male heads of households.
Each of the female beneficiaries received a wrapper and N5, 000 cash, while the male beneficiaries received N10, 000 each.
The social support is part of a sustained humanitarian intervention for families who lost their means of livelihoods.
Zulum has been raising concern that such interventions are not sustainable in the long-run, hence the need for safe and dignified resettlements so that refugees and internally displaced persons can have access to a sustainable means of livelihood rather than relying on government interventions and humanitarian aids.
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