Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum has visited the over 120,000 refuges in Niger Republic displaced by Boko Haram insurgency.
According to a statement signed by his spokesman, Isa Gusa, the Governor embarked on the visit to see how the refugees comprising men, women and children could be repatriated back to Nigeria and Borno State in particular and resettled in their various communities.
The refugees were said to have fled from different communities from the northern part of the State, trekked to neighbouring Niger at the peak of insurgency in 2014.
According to the statement, Zulum travelled to Bosso, Garin Wanzam and Tumur, all in Diffa province, to meet the refugees.
He was led on the visit by his host, Governor of Diffa, Isa Lameen.
Gusa disclosed that the Borno House of Assembly Speaker, Abdulkarim Lawan, who is from northern parts of the state, accompanied the governor on the trip.
The Governor’s spokesman further disclosed the Zulum travelled to Diffa from Malam-Fatori, headquarters of Abadam local government in Northern Borno, which had been a stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents until it was recently regained by the military.
He said the Governor’s visit to Malam-Fatori, was the first by a civilian in more than five years.
Zulum, while addressing top officials, said he was grateful to the government of Diffa province, the Federal Government of Niger and the host communities for being hospitable to Borno citizens.
He particularly thanked his host, Mr. Lameen of Diffa province, for his empathy and compassion towards Nigerian refugees from Borno, the statement said.
Recall that about three weeks ago, Zulum had hosted a high level meeting in Abuja, which had in attendance officials from Nigeria’s Federal ministries of Foreign Affairs, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and internally displaced persons and the National Emergency Management Agency to discuss repatriation of Borno citizens from Cameroon, Niger and Chad.