More than 12,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) including women and children were returned on Monday to their Shimfida community, in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.
About 6,000 of the IDPs were formerly camped at the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Jibia, by the Katisna State government and the council area, while others who fled to the neighbouring Niger Republic were brought back to Jibia yesterday.
It was reported that the IDPs were since March 10, dispersed from the area after a sudden departure of military forces from the area which triggered persistent raids by terrorists, leading to several deaths.
The Chairman of Shimfida Youth Development Association, Sa’ad Salisu, conveyed satisfaction over the level of preparation made for the return of the IDPs to their community.
Also, Chairman of the council, Bishir Sabi’u said the state Governor, Aminu Bello Masari had assured the IDPs of adequate security upon their return.
He added that N88.6 million was released by the state government for the relocation exercise followed by another N18 million by Governor Masari for the provision of hospital drugs and logistics for both the IDPs and essential workers at the community.
He said: “The reason why we are returning them is simply that some of them have started farming in the area; we want them to go back and fully commence farming activities.
“It was the army that left the area earlier that led to the sack of the community and governor Masari had spoken to President Muhammadu Buhari and approval had been given for the redeployment of the soldiers.”
However, this comes amidst multiple, incessant attacks across the state by suspected terrorist.
On 21 July, an attack by terrorists was launched on Gatigawa village in Kankara LGA of the state, leaving five policemen and three civilians dead and many others injured .
According to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Gambo Isah, who confirmed the incident to reporters, the policemen were on special duty in Katsina from Kano.
Wikki lTimes recalls that three persons were reportedly killed and seven others kidnaped on July 26 in Unguwar Isiyaka and Yar Tafki villages, Funtua Local Government Area of the state.
According to residents, the gunmen carried out separate attacks on the two communities in the early hours of that day.
Residents at Unguwar Isiyaka said the terrorists killed three victims and kidnaped four others including a ward head.
The residents added that the principal of Government Secondary School, Makera, a nursing mother, and her baby were abducted at Yar Tafki village.
Similarly, on August 7, Gunmen shot dead at least one person and injured two others during an attack on Shola Quarters in Katsina city.
The raid came barely two months after terrorists, armed with sophisticated weapons, occupied the same community.
A resident of the area who confirmed the incident to Channels Television on a telephone call said the bandits stormed the community in the early hours of Sunday at about 1:30 am.
Meanwhile, Aliyu Abubakar, the lawmaker representing Katsina in the state house of assembly while expressing concern over the surging insecurity, charged security forces to take the battle to terrorists’ dens rather than waiting for attacks to happen before reacting.
He added that lawmakers are planning a meeting with Governor Masari and President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the security challenges threatening the state.