Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has visited Niger Republic to discuss the modalities for the safe and dignified repatriation of 120,000 Nigerian refugees.
Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Relations and Strategy, made the disclosure in a statement on Sunday in Maiduguri.
Gusau said Zulum had on Saturday visited Diffa District of Niger Republic and met with the refugees who fled their homes due to Boko Haram insurgents’ attack since 2014.
He said the visit to Niger Republic was to put in place modalities to fast-track the safe and dignified return of the refugees for resettlement in Borno State.
Gusau said the governor held similar meeting in the past weeks in Abuja with officials of the Federal Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons; and National Emergency Management Agency.
The governor’s aide added that the meeting centred on discussion for dignified repatriation of Borno State citizens taking refuge in Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
The statement said: “With that meeting in mind, Governor Zulum traveled to Bosso, Garin Wanzam and Tumur, all in Diffa province, to meet with the refugees.
“Host governor of Diffa, Isa Lameen, led Zulum during the visits alongside Abdulkarim Lawan, Speaker, Borno State House of Assembly.
“Zulum traveled to Diffa from Malam-Fatori, headquarters of Abadam Local Government Council of Borno, which had been a stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents, until it was recently regained by the military.
“The visit to Malam-Fatori is the first time in more than five years by a civilian, it happened same day the governor entered Diffa province in Niger Republic.”
According to Gusau, Zulum expressed gratitude to the Nigerien authorities and host communities for their hospitality to citizens of Borno State taking refuge in their country.