Babagana Zulum, Borno State governor, has visited over 120,000 Borno refugees in Niger Republic, displaced by Boko Haram insurgency.
The refugees, who consist of men, women and children, fled from different communities from the northern part of the state, having reportedly trekked to neighbouring Niger in the heat of the crisis in 2014.
Zulum’s spokesman, Isa Gusa, in a statement on Sunday, said the governor’s idea of visiting the refuges in Niger, is to see to their repatriation back to the state, and resettle them in their various communities.
The statement recalled 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, as well as the national emergency management agency, to discuss repatriation of Borno citizens from Cameroon, Niger and Chad.
Zulum travelled to Bosso, Garin Wanzam and Tumur, all in Diffa province, to meet the refugees.
Isa Lameen, host governor of Diffa, led him during the visits.
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.
The visit to Malam-Fatori, the first time in more than five years by a civilian, happened on February 15, the same day he entered Diffa province in Niger Republic.
Zulum, while addressing top officials, expressed his gratitude to the government of Diffa province, the federal government of Niger, and the host communities for being hospitable to Borno citizens.