The Nigerian Army has said it is safe for displaced persons, IDPs, to return to their homes in the north-east.
The Theatre Commander of the north-east campaign, tagged ‘Operation Lafiya Dole,’ Lucky Irabor, stated this on Wednesday while addressing journalists in Maiduguri.
He said the “pockets of attacks” by Boko Haram in the north-east do not threaten the returnee IDPs.
“It is very safe for IDPs to return to their liberated communities,” Mr. Irabor, a Major General, said.
“Don’t forget that we gave the assurances on the safety of the areas based on the operations that we have conducted; and before we give out such assurances we ensure that none of these deadly materials like IEDs or mines are in those locations.”
The soldier said the military knows that “some persons may want to take advantage of such assurances to inflict harm on innocent citizens; that is why we always call on all stakeholders especially in the civil society to be part of the collective security arrangement that we do talk about.”
“For us, once we give assurance for the returnees to go back to their respective communities; that assurance is guaranteed,” he said.
Mr. Irabor also spoke on the recent recapturing of Malumfatori, one of the remote local government headquarters in Borno State.
“Since the 27th of September that we captured Malumfatori, the Boko Haram hostility in that area had gone and we ceased to hear from them till date.
He said Boko Haram insurgents still exist in some places around Borno State but they do not control any significant territory like it was in the past.
“We have to understand that even the recently liberated Malumfatori and Abadam towns were only the towns and not the whole Abadam as a local government area.
“In fact with the ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) at our disposal which was provided by the air component, we have been able to pick out where they exist and we have been tackling them accordingly.”