Zulum approves armoured carriers, patrol vehicles for return of refugees from Niger Republic
Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has approved the distribution of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and patrol vehicles to soldiers to expedite return of over 5,000 refugees to Malam-Fatori border community with Niger.
The approval was made, yesterday, on the shores of Lake Chad, when the governor, House of Representatives member-elect for Marte/Monguno/Nganzai Constituency, Bukar Talba; Commissioner for Local Government and Emirates Affairs, Sugun Mai Mele and others paid an assessment visit to Malam-Fatori, a former Boko Haram stronghold in northern Borno.
He said that the support was to strengthen Army’s capacity to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad region.
According to him, Malam-Fatori refugees in the three Nigerien communities are yet to return to their ancestral homes since the 2022 floods.
“My unscheduled visit to the border community was to commence reconstruction and supervise the ongoing works for the return of refugees,” the governor said.
Zulum, while commending the 68 Battalion, led by Col. A Onyeukwu, said: “You’re brave and professional to expedite the return of Malam-Fatori displaced persons to their ancestral homes.
“The purpose of this visit is to assess the clearance process in the border town with Niger Republic.
“We’re also to provide support to the military ahead of the safe and voluntary return of refugees in Niger Republic to the community.” He said that the refugees are taking shelter in the border communities of Bosso, Tumur and Diffa in Niger Republic.
The governor, who attributed the displacement and fleeing of refugees to Niger Republic to the 2022 floods that destroyed their houses and farmlands, said that with the complete assessment of reconstruction works, the return of refugees from the neighbouring Niger Republic would be completed in May 2023.
He, therefore, urged the people to be resilient and co-operate with the military and other security agencies working to restore normalcy in the Lake Chad region.