Nigeria: Gov Zulum Inaugurates Committee On Refugees, Repentant Insurgents

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, yesterday in Maiduguri inaugurated two committees to manage repatriation of refugees from neighbouring countries and manage issues of repentant insurgents.

The governor also set up another committee to facilitate the safe resettlement of displaced citizens back to Gudumbali and Mairari towns in Guzamala Local Government Area, LGA of the state.

The 26-member committee to handle refugees’ repatriation and repentant insurgents is headed by the Deputy Governor of the state, Umar Usman Kadafur.

However, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Kaka Lawan, is standing in for the deputy governor who is engaged on hajj issues.

The committee has a member of the National Assembly, Commissioners, Advisers, representatives of security agencies, Borno Emirate Council, the North East Development Commission, and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

The committee is to facilitate return of over 200,000 refugees to Borno State who fled to border communities in neighbouring Niger Republic, Cameroon and Chad since 2013 and 2014, following attacks by Boko Haram insurgents.

It would henceforth lead the state’s coordination of responses to mass surrender by Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters, requiring demobilization, disarmament and reintegration through procedures that align with international best practices.

For the committee on resettlement of Gudumbali and Mairari towns, Governor Zulum assigned Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Sugun Mai Mele, who hails from the affected Guzamala Local Government while Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Mustapha Gubio, will be co-chairman, among 22 other members.

Addressing the committees, Zulum said: “You may recall that Mr President (Muhammadu Buhari) in February, constituted a committee under the Vice President, on repatriation of Nigerians who fled to Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republics. The committee will soon visit Borno State, we should, therefore put in place some structures that will work with them to ensure speedy and successful return of our people.”

A member of the committee, Kaka Lawan, thanked Governor Zulum for giving them opportunity to serve the state. He assured of their commitment to achieve the set objectives.

Also, the co-chairman of the resettlement committee, Sugun Mai Mele, pledged members’ commitment.

The governor also swore -in Zuwaira Gambo as commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development.

Gambo missed last week’s swearing-in of her 19 fellow commissioners because she was in Egypt on official engagement.

Alongside Gambo, the governor equally, swore-in Dr Hyelni Mshelia as a new Permanent Secretary who until now, was a director at the Borno State Primary Health Care Development Agency.

Zulum also inaugurated the Ramat Polytechnic Governing Council which is chaired by Isa Modu Chul with 14 members.

The governor directed Secretary to the State Government to outline the council’s mandate to avoid duplication of duties with the polytechnic’s management.

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