Come Back Home, Yobe Governor Begs Nigerian Refugees In Niger

By Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri

Governor of Yobe State, Ibrahim Gaidam, has called on residents of the state who fled to neighbouring Niger Republic following recent terrorist attacks on some towns in the state to return home, assuring them of better security.

The governor made the call at the weekend in Maine Soroa, Niger Republic when he paid a visit to about 4,000 residents of Geidam, Kanamma and Yunusari, all in Yobe State, who fled to the neighbouring country to escape Boko Haram attacks.

Gaidam was conducted round by the Premier of Diffa Region, Yakuba Usman, who stated that there over 4,000 refugees from Nigeria are now resident in the area.

The Premier said that about 1,385 of the refugees were being camped and fed by the Nigerien government while 3,000 others live with their friends and relatives in Maine Soroa.

Governor Gaidam urged the refugees to return home, promising that more troops were being deployed in the insurgency ridden North east to safeguard lives an property..

He, however, assured them that his government would offer them assistance while they remain in Niger Republic.

It is not certain if the governor’s pleas and assurances would be enough to convince the refugees to return home, as some of them expressed lack of confidence in Nigerian security forces in protecting them.

Some of the displaced persons observed that while their homes were under terrorist attack, the security men who were supposed to defend them ran away, leaving them to be killed by insurgents.

Also at the weekend, the governor visited Geidam and some other parts of the state which recently came under intense Boko Haram attacks to commiserate with the people.

In Geidam, the governor, who was taken round to see damaged areas and public buildings, including the military base, the divisional police station, the local government secretariat and the local market assured the people of his government’s support.



    He condoled with families of those killed in the attack on the town, describing it as “wicked, sinful and brutal”.

    He also announced the setting up of a committee to compile a comprehensive report on losses incurred in the terrorist attack on the town which would comprise of

    Officials of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, two members of the state House of Assembly and two commissioners from the Geidam town, as well as the chairman of the Gaidam Market Association as well as some elders.

    Geidam, the home town of the governor, was attacked over a week ago by Boko Haram gunmen, forcing many residents to flee.



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