For the fourth time, Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, on Sunday, undertook a humanitarian assessment of Malam-Fatori, headquarters of Abadam Local Government Area in northern Borno on the fringes of the Lake Chad.
Zulum had visited Malam-Fatori in February 2020, July 2021, and October 2021, before his latest visit on the 6th of March, 2022.
The latest visit was for the governor to finally re-assess resettlement works he had assigned a committee to do. The committee is chaired by the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Engr Bukar Talba.
Zulum inspected 1,000 temporary shelters put in place by the committee which the households will occupy before permanent houses are fully reconstructed.
The governor also directed the state’s Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement (RRR) to immediately rebuild five blocks of classrooms at a central primary school within the next 10 days.
Zulum also directed the rehabilitation of a healthcare centre and a Friday Mosque around the old cattle market in the town.
The governor expressed satisfaction with the resettlement committee’s work, preparing for the return of IDPs and refugees who stayed in Bosso and Diffa border towns in Niger Republic since 2014, after fleeing attacks from communities in some of the 10 local government areas located in northern Borno.
“500 households will, insha Allah, arrive before Ramadan fast. This is the right time to resettle them back to their ancestral homes in a safe and dignified manner before the rainy season”, Zulum said.
The governor explained that each of the returnees will be supported with 100,000-naira cash as part of a participatory rebuilding approach.
While in Malam-Fatori, Governor Zulum approved 20 Buffalo’ patrol vehicles to support surveillance and fighting against insurgents by the Nigerian military and volunteers made up of youths in the ‘civilian JTF’, hunters, and vigilantes.
Zulum announced the approval during a meeting with the military commander of 68 Battalion, FOB in charge of Malam-Fatori, that the operational vehicles will be given to them during the returning process of the refugees.
He said 10 of the vehicles will go to the battalion additional 10 to the civilian JTF, hunters, and vigilantes who complement the military.
Zulum also directed his resettlement committee to work with the battalion to identify more of their needs and make recommendations towards addressing them.
The governor was accompanied on the trip by member representing Abadam at the State Assembly, Hon. Jamna Bong, Commissioners of RRR, Engr Mustapha Gubio, Justice- Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan, Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Sugun Mai Mele.
Also in the delegation were some elders indigenous to the host Abadam Local Government Area who included Prof Shettima Umara Bulakarima of the University of Maiduguri, Professor Bulama Kagu who is executive chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board as well as a former council chairman- Babagana Babayamari.