The first batch of 204 households of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, taking refuge at Geosciences IDP Camp Bukuru in Plateau have returned to their ancestral homes.
Addressing IDPs before their departure from the camp, Augustine Agundu, Commander of Special Task Force, STF, said that all security arrangements were in place for their safe return.
Our correspondent reports that the returnees are from Kukur, Kuzen and Kura Falls communities all in Gashish District of Barkin Ladi Government.
The commander, a major-general, said that the first batch to return would be those who left their homes for fear of being attacked but their houses were not destroyed.
“Soldiers have been deployed in all your villages. The security of your villages or homes is guaranteed.
“Not like that of before. Whoever tries to disturb you will have us to contend with.
“Go and rest peacefully in your homes; those who want to go to the farms should go to their farms, “he said.
He said that food had been prepared by caterers for the IDPs to eat on arrival to their homes.
The commander said that although free medical services were conducted before their departure, another one would hold on Friday in their villages.
According to him, medical personnel are on ground in the villages to ensure that the returnees are healthy to carry on with their lives.
“With that, gradually I believe we will now be settling down in our homes.
“Those people whom their houses have been destroyed, I will disturb the state government until they give them building materials to rebuild.
“They will also bring farming equipment for those that are farmers.
“Gradually, the schools too will be rebuilt so that our children will go back to school.”
Mr Agundu, however, advised the returnees to behave well so that“ by the grace of God“, the trouble that brought them to IDP would not happen again.
Richard Tokma, Acting Secretary to the Government of Plateau, in his remarks, said that the state government was happy to see the people return to their homes and live normal lives.
Mr Tokma said that since the submission of the report of the Committee on Resettlement of IDPs, Governor Simon Lalong had been having sleepless night to ensure that the IDPs return home.
“The governor has been anxious to see that IDPs return to their places of abode,’’ he said.
He commended the security agencies for ensuring that adequate security was provided before facilitating the return of IDPs.
“I think that what government has done is to ensure that when the people return, they are comfortable.
“What government is going to do now is to ensure that those whose houses were destroyed will be given materials to rebuild their houses. Even farm implements will be given to them for their farms.”
Francis Chong, the Camp Coordinator, said that over 1,000 households were taking refuge in the camp.
Mr Chong said that the people were displaced from 18 communities from two local governments, out of which three communities of 204 households were returning home.
The camp coordinator appealed to the state government to help the IDPs with roofing materials to rebuild their homes.
NAN reports that the returnees were given assorted food and other materials such as blankets, mats, some cooking utensils.