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The Borno State Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, on Tuesday in Abuja, chaired the inaugural meeting of a technical working group under the main Presidential Committee on Repatriation, Return and Resettlement of Displaced Persons in the North-East.
The broader committee was constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari who appointed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as chairman of the committee and Governor Zulum as vice chairman.
The VP had directed Zulum to constitute a technical working group.
Addressing the group at the banquet hall of the presidential villa, Zulum charged members to be dedicated and put in their best towards supporting successful repatriation of over 190,000 Nigerian refugees made up of “65, 000 Nigerians currently living in Cameroon Republic, Over 100,000 in Niger and over 25,000 in Chad” with majority from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
Zulum explained that sequel to the inauguration of the main committee, Vice President Osinbajo convened an inaugural meeting on March 7, 2022, during which a number of resolutions were adopted, among which was the need to establish three technical working groups for effective coordination.
The three technical working groups, he recalled, were for:
1. Roadmap for the restoration of peace and development in the North-East
2. Repatriation, return and resettlement of displaced persons and restoration of livelihood
3. Strengthening existing programmes for repentant Boko Haram members.
Professor Zulum urged the technical working groups to liaise with existing tripartite committee on repatriation of Nigerian refugees from the Republic of Cameroon, under which a tripartite agreement was signed more than 2 years ago.
The governor recalled that the first phase of repatriation already took place, urging the technical working group to work towards another phase and completion of the repatriation.
The technical working groups are made of representatives of office of the Vice President, Government of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, as well as representatives of Federal Ministries of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Foreign Affairs, Interior, office of Attorney General of the Federation, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and the North-East Development Commission, NEDC.
Other representatives in the technical working groups include those of Nigeria Army, Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Correctional Service.