The Katsina State Government on Monday returned no fewer than 12,000 Internally Displaced Persons to their hometown, Shimfida, Jibia Local Government Area of the state.
Persistent attacks by terrorists had forced the IDPs to leave Shimfida on 10 March, 2022.
While about 6,000 of them were resettled at Government Girls Secondary School, Jibia,the rest relocated to communities in the neighbouring Niger Republic.
The Chairman of Jibia Local Government Area, Bishir Sabiu, said shortly before the IDPs were returned to their ancestral town that both the state and the council were taking care of the IDPs in Jibia.
He also disclosed that those who relocated to the neighbouring Niger Republic were earlier in the day brought back to Jibia where they would join others on the trip back to Shimfida.
Sabi’u revealed that an initial N88.6 million was doled out by the state government for the exercise.
Sabi’u said, “A second tranche of N18m was also approved by Governor Aminu Masari for provision of hospital drugs and logistics for both the IDPs and essential workers at the community.”
He added that a third tranche which was also in the millions of naira, was also being awaited.
According to him, the money would be expended on installation of windows and doors for the accommodation provided for the IDPs in Shimfida.
He said Governor Masari had also spoken to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and had assured of adequate security escort for the IDPs on their return trip back to the town, adding that the escort would also be stationed at the community.
The council chairman declared, “We have IDPs that are displaced in Jibia and others in the Niger Republic. Those in Niger republic are over 6,000 while the ones in Jibia are also over 6,000.
“The reason why we are returning them is simply that some of them have started farming in the area; we want them to go back and fully commence farming activities.
“It was the Army that left the area earlier that gave in to the sack of the community and Governor Masari had spoken to President Muhammadu Buhari and approval has been given for the redeployment of the soldiers.”
Sabiu added that more than 10,000 bags of 10 kilogram rice have been purchased for onward transportation to the community for feeding,adding that an initial 2,000 bags were sent Monday.
The Chairman of Shimfida Youth Development Association, Sa’ad Salisu,in his remarks, expressed satisfaction on the efforts of the state Government to return the IDPs to their ancestral town.
He stressed that adequate security should be put in place in the community to prevent future attacks by the terrorists.
Salisu alleged that that more than 20 IDPs had died since they left their community, among who he disclosed, were women and the elderly who had cases of blood pressure and similar ailments.