We need N20bn to resettle Yobe Boko Haram victims – Gov Ibrahim Geidam

Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State has said  about N20 billion was needed to reconstruct the destroyed homes of Boko Haram victims before they could go home.

He, however, expressed happiness that the state was now peaceful, stressing that the two local government areas previously occupied by insurgents had since been liberated.

This was even as Governor Solomon Lalung of Plateau State, yesterday, regretted the death of a traditional ruler who was murdered in cold blood.

Geidam revealed that many of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, who were hitherto quartered in different camps, had returned home.

The governor, who spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, said he had briefed the President on the developments.

He said: “In Yobe State, we experienced insurgency for about two or three years. There were times when the Boko Haram terrorists occupied two of our local government areas of Gulani and Gujiba before they were liberated. As I am talking to you, we have more than 3000 IDPs in our camp.

“All of them, except these 3000, have returned to their homes. That is why I am here to advise Mr President on how best these people should be resettled.

“Because they need a kind of rehabilitation of their destroyed homes by Boko Haram, some need outright reconstruction of their homes, especially those which were completely destroyed by the Boko Haram terrorists. So, I came here to give him first hand information of things on ground there.

“I briefed him of how much we were able to do to resettle those who have gone back home and then what the federal government wants the remaining ones to do, so that they will go back and settle fully in their homes and resume their normal business activities.

“By our estimates, actually if the Federal Government spends anything from 10 to N20 billion, the whole area which was destroyed by Boko Haram will be reconstructed and people will go back to their homes and resume their normal lives.”

Lalung sues for peace over royal father’s murder

Also speaking, with journalists, Governor Solomom Lalung of Plateau State said the traditional ruler’s killer wanted to stir up another round of crisis on the Plateau, adding, however, that the situation had been brought under control.

He said: “I think the attitude of leadership itself will encourage change. You will recall that when I came into office, I inherited crisis, killings everyday and the moment I was sworn in after, a month, we never heard of any killing in Plateau.

“So we have restored confidence and we encourage people to interact, give everybody a sense of belonging and there is now peace in the state.

“Those who were running away from Plateau as no go area in the past have forgotten there was something like that. Now, it’s a free place for everybody.”

“We just celebrated our one year of peace on the Plateau and everybody was celebrating because we wanted to maintain the peaceful atmosphere.

‘’When I traveled out for just two days, a prominent traditional ruler was brutally murdered and I rushed back and investigation is still ongoing.

“I am hopeful very soon, we will unveil those behind he killing of the traditional rulers. I have not slept on it and those are the things I have briefed the President.

‘’We are very vigilant and pursuing those who are behind this. Because after a year of peace, someone will come and start executing this kind of thing.

“It’s someone that does not wish, not only Plateau, but Nigeria well because if that happens, and crisis starts again, you will see a lot of spill-over crisis in many parts of the country but thank God we are able to control that, to avoid future occurrence.

‘’We are protecting the state very well and ensure that the culprits will be be fished out soon.”

Plateau to export rice next year

The governor, who said he was at the Presidential Villa to brief President Buhari on the state’s agricultural strides, also hinted that Plateau would next year, begin exporting rice.

“The President is always excited when you are talking about agriculture, and the President developed a special interest in Plateau and other states that are already diversifying from oil to agriculture.

“In my state, we have put in a lot of efforts into agriculture, so every time I come to give him update on what we are doing and also seek for intervention to improve, also in solid minerals.

“The Chinese are already there right now (for food processing plant). Some months ago, you saw me in a rice farm and you will wonder, Plateau and Kebbi are now competing for rice production and by next year, we will start exporting rice.

“Like I said, the President is always excited when you give him progress on agriculture. So, the President was excited and had encouraged us to continue to do more.”


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