The Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has said that normalcy was gradually returning to the North East following the achievements being recorded against the Boko Haram terrorist group by the military and other service agencies.
He made the assertion when the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi, paid him a courtesy call in his office, in Abuja.
He said the military would defeat Boko Haram very soon, stating that the December deadline given to them by the President to defeat the terror group was achievable.
Abubakar said the Nigerian Air Force had renewed its air operations and re-strategised to make the service more effective in the conduct of its operations in the battlefield.
He maintained that whether in support of the Army or while acting singly, the Nigeria Air Force had made tremendous gains in ensuring that the terrorists were degraded and no longer able to move freely within the theatre of operations.
Abubakar said the effect of the successes had further reassured the citizens who had started returning back to their villages.
He further stated that the NAF was committed to supporting NEMA in taking care of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the various camps throughout the North East, adding that it had already provided a level-two hospital at the Dalori camp with over 34 highly specialised medical personnel.
Sidi called for more support and co-operation from NAF in the discharge of the agency’s responsibilities of managing and co-ordinating disaster in Nigeria.
He said NEMA was struggling with the task of managing over 2.1million IDPs in conjunction with the International Organisation for Migration and support from other donor agencies.
He said NEMA was moving to the stage of rehabilitation and reconstruction in collaboration with other agencies of government as normalcy gradually returns to the area.
Sidi further said that many of the IDPs were voluntarily leaving the camps and returning back to their villages. This, he said, has enabled NEMA to start closing some of the camps. He therefore commended the Air Force for its role and thanked the service for the support offered to the IDPs at the various camps.
Sidi further stated that by returning to their villages, the IDPs were sending a clear message to the terrorists that their actions would not deter them from building their communities. He also used the occasion to praise the IDPs for their courage and emphasised that this was essential in building residency.