18 May 2017

Nigeria: Boko Haram's Actions Delay Return of IDPs to Borno, Says Shettima

The planned return of 1.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the liberated communities in Borno State, would be delayed until after the Ramadan.

Governor Kashim Shettima disclosed this yesterday in Bama, while commissioning 12 renovated public structures and council secretariat, in partnership with Victims Support Fund (VSF).

He said: "We had to reschedule the return of the displaced persons to Bama, despite the fact that 70 per cent of the destroyed houses and public structures, had been rebuilt by the VSF and the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR).

"Initially, our plan was to return the Bama IDPs to their rebuilt homes on or before May 29, 2017. But the security of the people may not be guaranteed, because of Boko Haram insurgency on the fringes of Sambisa Forest and parts of northern Borno."

The governor said N368 million was spent to rebuild the structures, out of which the state government contributed N73 million.The Executive Director of VSF, Prof. Sunday Ochoche, said apart from the 12 projects in Bama, 22 other public structures had also been rebuilt for the displaced persons returning to Dikwa communities.

He explained that the completion of 34 projects in Bama and Dikwa, was done to fast-track their return.Meanwhile, the TIVs in the diaspora have blamed the Federal Government's silence for the continued herdsmen's attacks in Benue and other states.

A statement by Prof. Joseph T. Zume (USA),Dr. Son Kai Gyoh (Ireland), Mr. Kuram Gwakyaa (United Kingdom) and Amom Tor-Anyiin (Canada) condemned the position of the Benue State Police commissioner on the recent killings in Logo Local Council Area.

The commissioner had urged the farmers to be more cautious as the Fulani herdsmen were migrating out of the state.The statement described the statement as reckless and unfortunate, saying the Federal Government was yet to assist the IDPs in the state.

"The concerns of the citizens and people directly affected by these crises are being deliberately ignored by the various arms of government," the statement said.

They urged the international community to respond to the existential threat and human rights violations facing the farming communities across the country, particularly in the Benue valley.

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