Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima announced on Thursday that the Nigerian military will reopen the Maiduguri-Magumeri-Gubio and Damasak roads, which have been closed for three years due to the Boko Haram scourge.
The governor made the announcement while meeting with Muhammad Dandano, governor the Diffa region in the Niger Republic. Diffa, like Borno, has been ravaged by Boko Haram attacks.
According to Mr. Shettima, the Borno State government will begin to rebuild Damasak in 2017 so as to allow local residents to return to their homes. He explained that the government is prioritizing Damasak due to the vulnerability of people in that area.
"Rebuilding Damasak is our priority. The Borno Abadam, Mobar and Magumeri people are rich farmers; they do not need any help if you return them to their communities," he said.
The governor lauded the government of Niger for its cooperation in protecting and supporting internally displaced persons (IDPs).
"We commend the Republic of Niger for hosting about 90,000 internally displaced persons," Mr. Shettima said.
Mr. Dandano said his government would continue to support the IDPs and others affected by Boko Haram violence. He added that Nigerians and Nigeriens are living peacefully together in Diffa.
"We are giving the IDPs our maximum support, as many of them have taken up farming and other ventures," he said. "When you go there, you will hardly differentiate between an IDP from Nigeria from a Nigerien."