Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, was at the weekend in Diffa, Niger Republic, to arrange the repatriation of about 120,000 refugees back to Nigeria.
The refugees, mostly from the northern part of Borno State, had trekked into Nigerien soil at the peak of the Boko Haram crisis a few years ago.
A statement on Sunday by a spokesman for the governor, Mallam Isa Gusau, stated that Zulum’s visit to Niger was to contribute to arranging modalities towards the “safe and dignified repatriation” of the refugees to resettlement communities in Borno.
The statement said the governor led a delegation, including the Speaker, Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan, among other top officials of the state government.
“Governor Zulum travelled to Diffa from Malam-Fatori, headquarters of Abadam Local Government Area in Northern Borno, which had been a stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents, until it was recently regained by the military.
“The journey on Saturday to Malam-Fatori is the first time in more than five years by a civilian. The governor entered Diffa province in Niger Republic, the same day,” the statement added.
Gusau said Zulum, while addressing top officials in Diffa, thanked the government of the province, the Federal Government of Niger, and the host communities for being hospitable to Borno citizens.