Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima has said his administration will not risk returning some Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, to their villages owing to the security concerns they still pose.
He said the reconstruction works in most of the 16 local governments in the state have reached an advanced stage, which will enable the return of some of the IDPs to their localities by the end of Ramadan fast.
The governor, who spoke to the BBC Hausa service monitored in Abuja, said despite the near extermination of the insurgent Boko Haram, leaving them to a sporadic suicide missions, there are villages in the state that cannot yet be occupied by their inhabitants.
Mr Shettima was speaking in respect to Nigeria’s celebration of Democracy Day, which marks the current administration’s second anniversary.
“We are still determined to return the people back to their homes. But we have not yet finish the reconstruction of their houses, although that is in an advanced stage now.
“You know some routes in the state used to be impassable, but we thank God now we have overpowered them (insurgents) in all ramifications. There are however some villages that we will not allow people to return until we are certain of their level of security,” he said.
He said the state government is aggressively reconstructing the destroyed houses in 16 local governments, with over 20,000 houses being reconstructed in Bama local government alone.
Asked on the people in neighbouring Cameroon, the governor said “our people in Cameroon are up to 18, 000 and they face all sorts of maltreatment and harassment there. We have to protect their dignity.”
On the achievements recorded within the two years of Buhari administration, the governor said markets, schools, hospitals and other public places have now assume their normal shapes, with the overall return of peace in the state.
He dispelled some insinuation from certain quarters of the state government’s withholding of local government funds, attributing that to the opposition section, whom, he said, have for the past four years stayed away from Borno state.