Refugees, IDPs welfare: How Zulum spent weekend in Niger Republic, Damasak, Banki

… Shares N80m to households
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum spent the most part of his weekend traveling to Diffa province in Niger Republic, Damasak in northern Borno, and Banki l, a border town in central part of the State,  over the welfare of refugees and internally displaced persons.
Zulum, who was in Abuja for series of developmental activities, flew to Diffa on Friday in company of Senator Basheer G. Mohammed, federal commissioner in charge of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally displaced persons, and the acting permanent secretary, federal ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Alhaji Ali Grema.
In Diffa, the governor and the federal team visited Nigerians taking refuge in Niger republic to assess their welfare and to follow up discussions with stakeholders on how to fast-track the safe and dignified return of the refugees in Diffa for resettlement in Borno.
Zulum, Mohammed and Grema later held meeting with the Governor of Diffa province, Alh. Isa Lameen, and expressed gratitude to Nigerien Government and host community members for their empathy and support for Nigerian refugees in camps in the province.
From Diffa province, same Friday, Governor Zulum and the federal team flew a chopper to Damasak, headquarters of Mobbar local government area in northern Borno state where they interacted with batches of former refugees who returned from Niger Republic.
The leaders also inspected temporary shelters newly built to accommodate over 1000 households.
Also in Damasak, Zulum paid a moral boosting visit to 29 Task Force Brigade, assuring the military of government’s support for soldiers and commitment to peace building efforts. Zulum then proceeded to Maiduguri on Friday night from Damasak.
After using Saturday for some activities in Maiduguri, Governor Zulum, on Sunday, resumed humanitarian efforts by traveling to Banki, a commercial border town in Bama local government area, Borno central, to distribute N80m cash to displaced families as livelihood support.
The households were faced with challenges of means to buy food from vendors around them.
Zulum traveled alongside Senator Basheer G. Mohammed of the commission for refugees, and Ali Grema of humanitarian affairs ministry.
Together, they distributed N80m cash to households in Banki. The Banki camp hosts about 42,000 IDPs mainly from Banki, Kumshe and other surrounding communities.
Each male and female beneficiary was given N5,000 to enable them  procure food items.
Governor Babagama Umara sympathised with the displaced families over their plight, he assured that government will device means of ensuring food sufficiency while   Banki -Bama road will be made motorable .
The Governor also informed them of the desire of government to resettle Banki town.
District Head of Banki, Baba Shehu Arjinoma led stakeholders and IDPs to express gratitude to government of Borno and the federation for demonstration of empathy.
At the 152 Battalion in Banki which was visited by the delegation, Zulum appreciated officers and soldiers for their sacrifice to protect lives and property.
The Governor and commanding officers rubbed minds on wide range of issues relating to delivery of food items to the community, provision of security to the returnees, the resuscitation of farming activities, and plans for evacuation of refugees from Cameroon to be settled in Banki.
Before their departure, Zulum accompanied by the Federal delegation drove round Banki town to assess ongoing construction works during which the Governor directed resumption of clearing works preparatory to community resettlement in the next one month.

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