Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima at the weekend expressed determination of his administration to reconstruct houses belonging to 200,000 Nigerian refugees who crossed over into the neighboring Diffa Province in Niger Republic, after escaping from Boko Haram attacks.
Shettima, who was in Niger Republic between Thursday and Saturday met with the affected refugees, who fled from Abadam, Mobbar, Kukawa and Monguno local government areas of the state.
While at various camps set up for the refugees by the Nigerien government, the governor equally donated assorted relief materials and undisclosed amount of money for them
Some of the fleeing residents have spent four months in Niger Republic following attacks at their villages.
Shettima, who spoke to newsmen at the Government House of Diffa Province, said though the government of Niger Republic had been assisting the refugees, he observed that there was need for them to be moved home when total normalcy returned in order to have a better living condition.
He chided those agitating for the quick return of all displaced persons to their respective areas, which were recently liberated from the insurgents by the troops of the regional alliance.
The governor alledged that all those canvassing for the return of the refugees to their respective areas before the forthcoming general elections, were doing so for selfish interest and to achieve political agenda.
All those clamoring for the displaced persons to quickly return to their areas on the basis of the recent liberation of their communities from Boko Haram, have a hidden agenda.
“Though we applaud the efforts of the regional forces to recapture the areas by the militants, it would be suicidal for the fleeing communities to return home.
“Several insurgents who fled for the heavy bombardment of the troops, were still living in remote areas, wreaking more havoc on the villagers. So any serious individual who has the interest of his people would not table such issue. But any individual or group who pretends that all is well for the reclaimed areas, which were hitherto under the control of Boko Haram, he should firstly set an example by moving himself and the entire family to such areas so that the refugees can emulate him”, Shettima further challenged.
Shettima, however, called on the displaced persons to be orderly and to be good ambassadors by respecting the rules and regulations of the host country.
Also speaking to the visiting journalists, the Governor of Diffa Province, Yacuba Usmana Gawo said said his government resolved to accomodate the refugees on humanitarian basis and the culture of Nigerien community, who assists those in need.
Governor Gawo said the refugess arrived in batches after deadly attacks on their areas by the insurgents, with community of Malam Fatori caming first, followed by that of Damask and Baga respectively.
He said upon trooping into the country, the federal government of Niger directed him to set up three camps in Sayam, Kabalewa and Gudu areas to accommodate them.