Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, on Monday, re-allocated over 100 unoccupied properties in Bama town for the use of internally displaced persons.
Governor Zulum said all the houses should immediately be occupied by the internally displaced persons “who have no decent spaces at the IDP camp in Bama town”.
About a year ago, the state government allocated a hundred housing units built in Bama town by a Borno-born billionaire, Mohammed Ndimi, to IDPs.
The houses, just like many others, were given out freely to persons who had lost their homes in the ongoing Boko Haram conflict.
Over a year after the houses were built and allocated to the supposed needy IDPs, most of them remain unoccupied and locked up.
Sensing a defeat in the primary aim of building and allocating the two bedroom apartments, Governor Zulum ordered an immediate re-allocation to returnees “who are willing to start in the abandoned community”.
Mr Zulum was in Bama town on Monday to share food relief to a 2,500 IDPs.
Speaking at the palace of the new Shehu of Bama, Mr Zulum said it was “obvious that those given the houses do not need them”.
“Borno State government has revoked all allocations of houses at Indimi Estate, we cannot tolerate a situation where people claim ownership of those houses while they are living in Maiduguri,” he said.
“Your highness, kindly compile the list of IDPs from Jaudari village, all the houses should be allocated to them,” Mr Zulum, a professor of irrigation engineering, told the Shehu of Bama, Umar Ibn Kyari Elkanemi.
Mr Zulum also notified the Shehu of Bama of his plan to return the IDPs to Nguro Soye and Banki towns.
“We shall, Insha Allah, resettle Nguro Soye and Banki towns. Our people in Menawo and Kirawa all in Cameroon will soon return back to Banki,” he said.
Food for IDPs
The governor later supervised the distribution of food to over 25,000 IDPs who were sacked by Boko Haram from Banki, Gulumba, and Nguro Soye, other towns and villages of Bama Local Government Area.
He noted that the food items being distributed to the IDPs were “jointly provided by the Borno State Government and the Federal Government.”
Schools to reopen
Mr Zulum has also announced that schools, that have been shut down for over five years since Boko Haram sacked all communities in Bama local government, would be reopened immediately after the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted.
“I will soon come back to Bama, and I will personally supervise the enrollment of pupils and students in schools,” he said.
“We have to reopen Government Day Secondary School. The Mega School will also be converted to a Secondary School, while a Girls’ Secondary School will be sited in Shettimari Primary School temporarily,” Mr Zulum added.
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