By Bukar Bolori
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, on Wednesday met President Idriss Deby of Chad over the repatriation of thousands of Nigerian refugees in the neighbouring country.
Most of the refugees fled troubled Borno State at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency, which has crippled the North East region of the country.
The governor was at the meeting with Nigerian Ambassador to Chad, Zannah Bukar-Kolo.
The meeting, which held at the presidential palace in N’Djamena, was also attended by Chadian ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Abakar Saleh Chahaimi.
A statement by spokesman to the governor, Mallam Isa Gusau quoted his boss as saying: “I am here in Chad to see our people currently taking refuge at The Darsalam camp in Baga Sola. We met them yesterday (Tuesday). Our people are doing very well, the government of Chad is taking care of them. So I am here to express appreciation to the President for his generosity towards our people here in Chad.
“We have also discussed how we can voluntarily repatriate our people back to Nigeria. Basically we are here for three things: meet our people, thank the government of Chad, and intensify collaborative efforts to repatriate those who are willing to be safely resettled in different parts of Borno.”
Before Wednesday’s meeting with Chadian President, Zulum crossed over the Lake Chad on Tuesday to the refugee camp in Baga Sola, interacted with the Nigerian refugees and supervised distribution of N50 million to 5,000 families as part of social protection.
Zulum, was in Chad back in January, this year, to meet commanders of the Multinational Joint Task Force over fight against Boko Haram.
The governor had at different times visited Cameroon and Niger Republic to meet Borno indigenes taking refuge in the three neighboring countries with land borders connecting them to different parts of the troubled state.
He had during the trips and supervised the distribution of food items and financial support to thousands of refugees and extended gratitude to host communities and government.