The Yobe State on Wednesday officially closed the Pompomari Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Damaturu and the only government-established camp left in the state.
Permanent Secretary State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Musa Jidawa, said the closure of the camp was as a result of consensus reached by the IDPs from the six communities in the camp.
“They voluntarily chose to relocate to communities of their choice in line with the United Nations’ guiding principle on internal displacement,” Jidawa said.
He said the principle stipulated that “every Internally Displaced Person has the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his or her residence.”
He said the camp was established in 2015 with 4,211 displaced persons from Ambiya Kura, Ambiya Bulabulin, Ambiya Tasha, Sharfuri and Turo Kura villages in Gujba Local Government Area of the state.
“The State Government has so far expended the sum of over N140 million for the establishment, take off, feeding and routine medical upkeep with special referrals to Specialists and Teaching hospitals in Damaturu and Maiduguri as well as, Neuro-Psychiatric hospital in Maiduguri.”
He said 2,897 IDPs had earlier left the camp willingly to communities of their choice and were supported with foodstuff, cash assistance and transport.
“Presently, the camp is closing with a population of 1,314 IDPs with a return package of N9.1 million cash assistance; 743 bags of rice; 596 Jerry cans of cooking oil; 541 cartons of tomato paste; 370 cartons of toilet soap; 1,000 pieces of mosquito nets; 1,272 pieces of nylon mats; and 60 bales of used clothes shared among the IDPs.”
He commended the state Post Insurgency Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Committee under the chairmanship of state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, for supporting the agency throughout the stay of the IDPs.
The Permanent Secretary also commended government agencies, private organisations, international and local NGOs for their support to the IDPs while in camp.
He assured that the agency would continue to support the returnees in their communities to ensure their full resettlement and rehabilitation.
Alhaji Kyari Batarama, Chairman Gujba Local Government, pledged the support of the council to the returnees.
“The council will assist the returnees to resettle and re-engage in economic and agricultural activities being the major preoccupation of the communities,” Batarama said.