My Plan For Bama IDPs Return Home – Governor Shettima

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Internally displaced persons from Bama Local Government Area will be returned in batches to their rebuilt communities only after assurance by the military of the security of the area.
This was disclosed by Governor Kashim Shettima on March 29 during a two-day visit to the town. He vowed that the state will adhere to global standard for returning displaced persons to their homes rather than bowing to populist pressure for mass return.
On March 27, the state government had announced that IDPs will begin returning home from Monday April 2. The decision followed the military’s re-opening of the Bama-Maiduguri road than had not been used by civilians four years after its capture by insurgents.
Governor Shettima stressed that basic infrastructural facilities like water, hospitals, schools and security services must be functional before the IDPs returned.
The Governor said “the school system, the hospitals and most importantly, the security must be in their best shape before the return.
“We have to put in place all the necessary mechanism before they begin to return. We can’t be intimidated to follow the mob, we have to do the right thing for the people to return to their homes.”
The Governor spoke upon his arrival in Bama on Thursday shortly after he was received by the military commander of the troops in the state’s second largest town.
He said that he appreciated the people itching to return to their homes but would not allow any situation that would put them in harm’s way. He, however, noted that the civil population must return to consolidate the efforts of the military in securing the communities.
Lamenting that due to the insurgency “the second biggest town in Borno was turned into a ghost community where we have untold destruction and disharmony, he commended the military for its gallantry and its sacrifices while reclaiming the North-East and praised the resilience of the people of the region throughout the crisis.
The Acting Brigade Commander of the 21 armored Brigade, Bama, Colonel Garba Nura, had earlier informed the governor and other visiting dignitaries, including the Shehu of Bama, Kyari Ibn El Kanemi, that though Bama has since been secured, “the general security situation in the town is relatively calm but unpredictable. The army is also engaged in demining of the roads and general areas to ensure safety of the people and road users”.
On the return of the civil population to Bama, the Brigade commander said the government must be quick in providing key infrastructure that must precede the arrival of the people.
“First is the need for all the paramilitary outfits to come back to Bama; then the second one is to commence reconstruction of road to patch up all potholes on the road that leads from Maiduguri to Bama and up to Banki, thereby reducing planting of improvised explosive devices”.
The UN rules stipulate that displaced persons must not be forced to return to their communities, and that if they must return, it should be on a voluntary, dignified and safe basis.

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