After being forced out of their ancestral homes by the Boko Haram Insurgents a couple of years ago, the large percentage of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Adamawa State have long gone back to their homes and have already started a new life.
Even the few IDPs at the Malkohi Camp have been wishing for a day that they will also go home. Inspite of the FG's efforts through the coordinating agency, NEMA and other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to meeting the needs of the IDPs as well as the intervention of the Adamawa state government under the Bindow-led Administration in the provision of food, nutrition, shelter, medications, psycho-social therapy, security and protection, the IDPs greatest wish is to return to their ancestral homes.
Speaking to 3-Tier News at Maikohi Camp, the IDPs appealed to the Federal Government to wipe out the remaining insurgency to allow them return to their native homes, and also assist to rebuild their homes, government institutions like schools completely Destroyed by the insurgents among other structures. The IDPs also pledged that the civil authority that was lacking as a result of insurgency be established to bring back law and order before they return to their communities, including health centres.
Mallam Adamu, one of the IDPs at Malkohi IDPs Camp, said that the longing of his heart is to return to his ancestral home, adding that the FG, the Adamawa State Government and other NGOs have been doing their best to make them feel at home in the camp, but the saying that “there is no place like home” is always right.
According to him, “I heard from the radio, I think about two weeks ago that the Federal Government is planning to come to Adamawa, especially the northern part to continue with the Rebuilding of destroyed houses and structures by the Boko Haram insurgents. I am hoping that my house is included in the project”.
Being the Government for the people, the Buhari-led Administration has earmarked N45 billion for the rebuilding of destroyed liberated communities in the Northeast. The rebuilding of infrastructural facilities will fast track the return of IDPs to their communities. According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the N45 billion was specially earmarked for the reconstruction and rebuilding of destroyed homes and public structures in communities that were liberated by the military in the year 2016.
So far, the FG has kicked-off the implementation of a comprehensive rebuilding plan for the North-east areas which were ravaged in recent years by the Boko Haram insurgency, said Lai Mohammed. Adding that the whole region is intended to be covered eventually.
For instance, in Bama LGA of Borno state alone, the FG constructed about 3000 new homes, 10 police stations, 18 primary and secondary schools, health centres, creation of special Bama Squad for security and the recruitment of 1500 local hunters as Agro Rangers. Equally, 20 medical doctors, 100 nurses and other relevant health officers have been recruited to provide essential health services for the town that have been re-constructed in the areas.
What is then the situation here in Adamawa State? 3-Tier News visited Sukur World Heritage at Madagali LGA that was “tempered” by the Boko Haram. One of the Historians, Mr. Japhet James said that plans are underway by the FG to rebuild the destroyed places in the kingdom.
According to him, the National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM) is exploring ways to rebuild the Sukur World Heritage site destroyed by the insurgents in 2014, adding that provisions have been made in the 2017 budget to address the conservation challenges of the Sukur site and work is expected to commence in the 2nd quarter of 2018.
In his words, “So in the coming weeks, you will see lot of activities around the Sukur Cultural Landscape to address those conservation challenges following the attack by the Boko Haram insurgents. The target is to restore the conservation status of the sites, ensuring they attain cresting stage and become well maintained enough to attract tourists”.
According to 3-Tier News findings, as the FG via the military is doing its best to wipe out completely the remnant of insurgency in Madagali LGA, efforts are as well under way to rebuild some of the structures destroyed by the insurgents, including the Sukur World Heritage.
One of the LG officials, Mr. Tumba Abraham stated that not long ago some delegation from the FG visited some of the rural communities that were destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents; the visit was part of the rebuilding process that the FG would soon commence in the area.
In his words, “I am fully aware of the rebuilding initiative by the FG because some government officials came to this community sometime ago, and they told us that in places like Bama in Borno State, the rebuilding programme is nearly completed because most of the destroyed houses and structures have been rebuilt. Our turn will soon come”.
Other LGAs in Adamawa State that are expecting the FG rebuilding initiative include Hong, Gombi, Maiha, Michika, Mubi North and Mubi South. However, plans have been completed to start rebuilding the ancestral homes of the IDPs and other structures destroyed by the insurgents.
Some of the structures that are also “areas of concentration” are worship centres and police stations. Already, the rebuilding of worship centres have started, indicating the determination of the FG in fulfilling its promises to the communities hit by the insurgency in the Northeastern part of the country.
A cross section of IDPs in Michika, Gombi and Hong LGAs who have returned to their ancestral homes were optimistic that the rebuilding project would soon reach them, noting that they have been assured of the FG's commitment to rebuilding destroyed homes and structures.
Speaking to 3-Tier News, one of the people whose houses were destroyed in Gombi LGA, Mallam Dauda Suleiman Gombi said that his home was completely razed down by the insurgents, but upto now he is not able to raise the building to the standard that it was when the “unwanted visitors” came calling.
According to him, the would-be intervention of the Buhari-led Administration to rebuilding the ancestral homes of the IDPs is not only a welcome idea, it is a clear indication of the FG's commitment to put hope to the hopeless and as well as smiles on the faces of the then displaced persons.
In his words, “I learnt that the rebuilding initiative has started in Borno State. It would soon commence here. Our communities were not badly destroyed like the ones at Bama and other communities in Borno State. And since the Federal Government is not discouraged by those badly damaged and decided to rebuild them, ours here is also possible and I believe that it will start sooner than we expect. I know President Buhari will do it here”.
Another ex-IDP in Hong LGA, Mallam Usmanu Danladi said that he stayed in Malkohi Camp with his family for two years before they decided to return to their traditional home about three years, adding that some time ago, some government officials visited his house, to be counted among the destroyed houses that will be rebuilt.
He expressed, “They (the government officials) told me that they were here to sample the houses that were destroyed by those boys (refereeing to Boko Haram insurgents) and they assured me that very soon the government will commence the rebuilding in this community, including my house here”.