© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
200,000 Nigerians Take Refuge In Niger
By Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
More than 200,000 Nigerians, mostly from Borno State, have fled their homes for neighbouring Niger Republic due to terrorist attacks by the Boko Haram sect, the governor of Nigerien Diffa Province, Yacuba Usmana Gawo, revealed on Friday.
Speaking to journalists during the visit of Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, to the province to see residents of the state who fled the Boko Haram insurgency to Niger, Gawo said that about 50,000 persons were displaced during the recent capture of Baga by the insurgents, bringing the total number of refugees in the area up from 150,000 to over 200,000.
Gawo said that the government of Niger had no choice but to accommodate and provide for the refugees because they were neighbours many of who had families in his own country.
Governor Shettima visited three camps established in Sayam, Kabalewa and Gudumariya, all in Diffa province, where he assured the refugees that the Nigerian government was doing everything possible to reclaim their communities from insurgents and return them home.
He also assured them that even while in Niger, his government would ensure that they are adequately taken care of.
Shettima also thanked the government and people of Niger, especially the governor of Diffa Province, for opening doors for Nigerians to take refuge at a desperate time, adding that the government and people of Borno State would be eternally indebted to Niger for offering protection and support to the refugees..
Governor Shettima told the displaced persons that he was setting up a task force on evaluation, reconstruction, rehabilitation and re-integration of victims of the insurgency which would assess the damage in all liberated territories and commence reconstruction works to prepare for the return of the refugees to their homes.
He assured that basic necessities of live such as water, healthcare facilities and shelter would be provided while all areas in such communities would also be fumigated.
Governor Shettima also gave the refugees a piece of good news, announcing that the four local government areas from which they fled , Abadam, Mobbar, Kukawa and Monguno, all in northern part of the state, had been reclaimed by the multi-national troops from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.