By Bukar Bolori
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum has distributed cash and food items put at N200 million to over 70,000 households in Bama local government area of the state.
Bama is a commercial town in Borno Central senatorial district and had most of it’s buildings destroyed at the peak of the Boko Haram crisis.
The town was equally captured and administered by Boko Haram for some months before it was retrieved by the Nigerian troops.
A statement on Wednesday by the spokesman to the governor, Malam Isa Gusau said his boss after spending a night in Bama, on Wednesday supervised the distribution of N200 million and food items to over 70,000 displaced households.
He said the displaced persons have been denied access to their farmlands, markets and other means of livelihood for years as a result of the over a decade long insurgency
He said Zulum’s sustained humanitarian intervention, which is combined with agricultural activities to create livelihoods, is part of multidimensional approach to deny Boko Haram opportunities of using social and economic means of recruiting fighters from displaced persons.
He disclosed that the cash and food distribution, the latest in the series, took place in five centres across Bama town.
He said each 40,000 female heads of households received two packets of sugar, a wrapper and a token of N5,000 amounting to N200 million naira.
He added that 30,000 male heads of households each received a bag of rice, a bag of maize grill and a carton of spaghetti.
The governor, later addressing the beneficiaries, said: “We share your pains and we are appealing to everyone of you to continue with the prayers for peace to return to our dear state.”
The governor had on Tuesday when arriving Bama, ordered the immediate construction of 500 houses in Nguro Soye, a community in the local government.
He had also announced the rehabilitation of additional 1,000 private homes, which were destroyed by insurgents, to facilitate resettlement of displaced residents.
During his visit to Bama, he was at the palace of the Shehu of Bama, Shehu Umar El-Kanemi, during which he told the monarch that he was in the town for on the spot assessment of schools, promising to work towards access to education for all school aged children in Borno State.
He also granted the Shehu of Bama’s request for increased agricultural support to farmers ahead of rainy season.
He directed the strengthening of agricultural supplies and activities in Bama to meet increasing number of returnees that might engage in farming.