The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, said on Thursday that the Federal Government’s intervention in the welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons was to enable them to return to their communities.
Abubakar made the comment at the handing over of relief materials to the persons in Damaturu.
Abubakar was represented by Air Commodore Paul Dimfwina, Commander 79 Composite Group Nigeria Air Force, Maiduguri.
He said that the donation was the fulfillment of a presidential mandate given to the Comptroller-General of Customs to transfer items seized by the Customs and legally forfeited to the government for the use of IDPs in various camps across the North-East.
Abubakar said that the intervention should be seen as laying foundation for full relocation of the displaced persons to their communities.
He said In the first phase of its operation in Yobe, the committee transferred items including 4,491 bags of rice in 50kg; 2,504 Jerry cans of vegetable oil in 25 litres; 500 cartoons of soap; 263 bales of used cloths; 397 pieces of new cloths and 41 rolls of textile yard materials.
“It is gladdening to note the current trend of IDPs leaving the designated camps back to the communities.
“This is a testimony to the fact that Nigeria is winning the war on insurgents, and peace is being restored to the North-East.
“It is our hope that with the coming of the raining season, our citizens in the liberated territories will engage in agriculture and other activities to re-engineer our economic revival, ” Abubakar said.
He urged the returning IDPs to remain vigilant and report all suspicious activities to the law enforcement agents.
The Chairman of the National Logistics Committee on Distribution of Relief Materials to IDPs, Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, Sanusi Umar, said that customs had benefited from effective collaboration that ensured smooth operation.
Umar said that the materials presented had been moved into Yobe for quite some time and apologised for the delay in presentation.
He said that members of the committee included representatives from Custom, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and the Nigeria Police.
Umar added that members of the civil society organisations like the Red Cross and the Media were also part of the committee.
He also thanked the local organising committee which had been working with the main committee to ensure safe custody of the items in Damaturu.
Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of the state called on individuals and organisations to emulate the national committee to collectively contribute to the social and economic reconstruction of the state.
Gaidam was represented by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu,
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that donations were made in two communities – Buni Yadi and Buni Gari