The Yobe State Government has said there is no part of the state currently under the occupation of the Boko Haram insurgents.
Governor Ibrahim Gaidam stated this in Damaturu while receiving a delegation from Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, who delivered relief materials to the state.
Mr. Gaidam, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Baba Malam-Wali, said the areas initially taken over by the insurgents had been liberated by the military.
“Presently, there is no part of the state that is under the control of insurgency. Plans are in the pipeline to relocate Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) back to their communities,” he said.
Mr. Gaidam said that the state had over 300,000 IDPs out of which 280,000 were living in host communities.
“We are awaiting clearance from security agencies who are mopping up the areas of explosive devices to give us the go ahead to commence relocation of the IDPs,” he said.
The governor commended the NPA for providing assistance to support displaced persons in the state.
Isa Suwaid, leader of the NPA delegation, said the management assisted the IDPs with immediate and basic needs to cushion their hardships.
Mr. Isa said 150 mattresses, 500 pieces of blanket, 200 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 100 bags of beans, 100 bags of maize; 100 bags of millet and 1,500 nylon mats were donated to the state through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
Also, the Acting Chairman, Gujba Local Government in the state, Mai Musa, said people who fled the area due to the Boko Haram insurgency, had returned to their respective communities and engaged in irrigation farming.
Mr. Musa disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Damaturu.
He said residents of Wagir, Nyakire, Mutai, Buni Gari, Gujba, Katarko and Garin Itace, who fled their communities had mostly returned.
“The people have engaged in irrigation farming in most of the communities, while business activities have picked up in the village markets,” he said.
The chairman said except Buni Yadi, headquarters of the local government, most of the communities had returned and engaged in various means of livelihood.
“As you know, Buni Yadi, has since been liberated and occupied by the security but, they have yet to be authorised by the residents to return.
“Although the people are anxious to go back, the security forces are still clearing the town to ensure that it is free from explosive devices that might have been planted by the insurgents when they occupied the town,” he said.
Mr. Musa also said trading activities had improved in Wagir, adding, “we have recorded increase in livestock trade in Wagir after the liberation of the area’’.
He commended the military/civilian relationship in the liberated communities, saying it had strengthened mutual trust between the army and the host communities.
“Members of the host communities have constituted vigilance groups working closely with the army and this has recorded tremendous success in identifying the insurgents and effectively fighting them,” the chairman said.
He said the resettlement of people in the reclaimed areas had consolidated the success recorded by the military over insurgents.
He, however, lamented the destruction of public and private structures in the affected areas during the occupation of the insurgents.
“Boreholes, schools, hospitals and private properties were either burnt or vandalised.
“There is the urgent need for government, international organisations, donor agencies and philanthropists to contribute and support the resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the people,” the chairman said.