By Francis Okoye
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk and the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Hon Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim have commended refugees who voluntarily returned to their country home of Bama and Banki at the weekend in Borno State from Cameroon.
The duo also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, who out of his love and passion for the refugees directed the repatriation of these Persons of Concerns to their homeland.
The minister recalled that the Northeast region was engulfed and ravaged with the Boko Haram atrocities that saw to their sojourn in Cameroon, but thanked almighty Allah that the circumstance no longer exist as a result of the sacrifices of Nigerian gallant soldiers and the determination of the Governor of the State, Professor Babagana Zulum and other stakeholders.
On her part, the Federal Commissioner, Hon Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim whose commission is saddled with the facilitation of their return to Bama and Banki stated that although there is no place like Home, but their decision to return home having stayed in a foreign land for over ten years with all the cares and warm reception from the host country as laudable.
According to her, “You are now a living witness of the change circumstance in the area of return. Recall the 6 man delegation from among you who recently visited Banki on 22nd December, 2022 for “Go and see, come and tell visit”, the outcome of which you have made up your mind to return home.
“Be rest assured that normalcy has returned to Banki and Bama as you can see people going about their normal livelihood activities. This is as a result of the great efforts of our gallant soldiers and other security agents who have assiduously denied themselves of all comfort, but to defend and protect lives and properties. Their great sacrifices have brought in the desired peace and here we are enjoying it together.
“I am convinced that your decision to voluntarily return home is a golden one at this period. His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari who is very instrumental to your return in safety and dignity expresses deep gratitude for this singular act of yours. To this end, the Federal Government and the Borno State Government together with the support of international community and development partners will stand by you for sustainable local integration. You are not alone.”
The NCFRMI is the driving force behind the exercise under the formidable direction and support of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, which is under the steering hands of our indefatigable Honourable Minister, Hajia Saadiya Umar Farouq.
Sulaiman-Ibrahim thanked the Minister for her able leadership and also thanked the UNHCR Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms Chansa Kapaya, and her dedicated staff for their continued support to the NCFRMI and the Government of Nigeria, in ensuring that the commission have a successful repatriation exercise.
She also thanked members of the TWG for their efforts since inception and urged them to contribute meaningfully to the re-integration of the people to lead a normal life.
The federal commissioner also tasked the local communities to be keepers of their brothers and sisters as their attitude towards them will give informed decision unto the remaining ones contemplating to return.
The event had dignitaries from the state executive council, stakeholders and the Commanding Officer of the area, Lt Col MZ Dikko; Commanding Officer 152 TF BN Banki among others.