Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has temporarily moved the seat of administration of the state from Maiduguri, the capital, to Bama, to prepare the ground for the relocation of about a million people displaced at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Bama, a commercial town, is one of the areas worst hit by the crisis since it started about a decade ago as almost all the structures in the town were burnt down before the military could liberate the ancient town from the grip of the terrorist group.
The town was closed down to allow for military operation and subsequent reconstruction after its liberation.
With the town scheduled to be reopened next Monday, Shettima moved almost all the government apparatus to ensure the readiness of the town to take back the residents that fled at the peak of the insurgency.
Shettima spent Wednesday and Thursday in the town, supervising projects, including nine schools, eight boreholes and general hospitals to ensure the smooth return of internally displaced persons back to the town.
Addressing a gathering at the Shehu of Bama`s Palace, Shettima, who was in tears, lamented the total destruction of Bama town by the insurgents and thanked the military for the total liberation of all the local government areas in the state.
He said the state government would continue to support them in their efforts to maintain peace.
He said, “The people of Bama will return in phases, starting with ward and village heads, while the Shehu will be the last person to return. We did so in order for the Shehu to monitor the return of his subjects as we have distributed biodata forms to capture all the returnees to avoid infiltration by the Boko Haram insurgents.”
In an interview with journalists in Bama, the Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Prof. Babagana Umara, said, “We have renovated 11,630 houses, eight primary schools, eight boreholes, in addition to the 1,800 shops and market stalls that we have newly constructed.”