…As Army hands over 670 cleared suspected B/H members
By Joan Ejembi
The Yobe government has demanded for refund of N13 billion allegedly expended on the military joint task force executing the war against insurgency in the state.
While briefing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa yesterday, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam asked the Federal Government to pay back the sum which he said would go a long way in solving some of the problems of the state.
He said emphatically that Yobe specifically needs the refund now to be deployed in the provision of other services, including the establishment of hospitals for the benefit of the people. Lamented that the displaced people of the state have not received any monetary support from the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative, the governor said that could have assisted in the building and reconstruction of their houses so that they can start their normal lives.
He said: “We have not received a kobo in terms of cash, but in terms of materials, food and non-food items, we have been receiving a lot which I cannot tell you precisely in a quantified form here. We have received enough.
“But during the last administration, Yobe State took care of the joint task force which is a combination of the military, the SSS and the police who were carrying out the war against insurgency. We even paid their allowances and provided all their logistical needs, including patrol vehicles. We have spent quite a substantial amount of money in that direction up to about N13 billion during the time of insurgency.
“We have submitted to the Federal Government if they could refund even 30 percent of that so that we can deploy it for the establishment of some infrastructure like hospital.
Recently, we awarded a construction of cargo airport. If we can get a portion of that money, it will go a long way in relieving some of our problems,” he added.” According to him, his mission to the villa was to seek federal
assistance to facilitate resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the destroyed areas by Boko Haram insurgents in the state.
“I told him that we have now got relative peace in Yobe State in terms of the insurgency. For the past two years or so, we have not had any attack by the insurgents in Yobe. “So, I accordingly briefed him and told him that all our Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned to their bases and resumed their normal businesses. Our problems now border on resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the destroyed areas by the Boko
Haram,” Gaidam, who is the Coordinator of Joint Intelligence Centre (JIC) of Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, .
Meanwhile, Brig-Gen Abdulrahman Kuliya, also handed over 760 cleared suspected members of Boko Haram to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State for re-integration into society. Speaking during the process, at the Bulunkutu Rehabilitation Centre, Maiduguri, Kuliya said they were cleared after thorough “interrogation and investigation” by JIC of the Theatre Command.
“We had to clear all these suspects before you, by profiling their individual relations and activities with Boko Haram. We certify that none of them is involved directly or indirectly in terrorist activities, before handing them to the governor for reintegration into their respective communities in Borno.”