Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has approved the use of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and patrol vehicles by soldiers to evacuate over 5,000 refugees from Niger Republic to the Malam-Fatori border community with the country for onward repatriation into the state.
Zulum gave the approval on Thursday when he visited the Malam-Fatori area community which was a former stronghold of the Boko Haram sect in northern Borno.
Zulum who was accompanied on the visit by the House of Representatives member-elect for Marte/Monguno/Nganzai Constituency, Bukar Talba, Commissioner for Local Government and Emirates Affairs, Sugun Mai Mele among other top government officials, said he was on hand to assess the readiness of the community to receive the returning refugees.
“My unscheduled visit to the border community was to commence reconstruction and supervise the ongoing works for the return of refugees,” the governor said.
While commending operatives of the 68 Battalion of the Nigerian Army led by Col. A Onyeukwu, Zulum said the military has shown great bravery and professionalism “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 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.
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