… orders rebuilding of 500 houses schools in New Marte
SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri
Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum has, on Monday, revisited New Marte town, a former stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents in the shores of the Lake Chad Basin Region.
The visit was to inspect facilities of Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA) and other infrastructures with a view to resuscitating it and rebuilding residential houses and public buildings destroyed by Boko Haram terrorists, and to explore how irrigation farming activities of the CBDA could be revived and operation commenced in July, this year.
Recalled that in December 2019, Governor Zulum was in New Marte, the first civil visit to the ’no-go-area’ in more than five years since Boko Haram insurgents attacked the agrarian community forcing all the residents to flee.
The insurgency also affected the federal government agricultural project in the area, leading to the shut down of the Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA) and other federal government’s activities in the area.
Note that CBDA has over 67,000 hectares of fertile land for large scale irrigation.
New Marte, located in Marte local government area in northern Borno and the entire LGA, had come under the control of insurgents, until the Nigeria military recaptured it and has now given go ahead for the return of the civilians.
Governor Zulum, in company of CBDA’s Managing Director, Engineer Abba Bukar, Borno’s Commissioner of Reconsttruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, State Commissioner for Higher Education, who hails from Marte and State Commissioner of Local Government and Emirate Affairs flew from Maiduguri onboard a military helicopter.
During the unscheduled visit, Zulum assessed varieties of vandalized irrigation equipment, a power house, workshop and dozens of buildings used by the CBDA in active days of engaging thousands of families.
“I am here with the MD of CBDA, Engr. Abba Bukar in New Marte, insha’Allah we will partner with them to resuscitate Marte’s irrigation centre. This will provide means of livelihood,” the governor said before flying back to Maiduguri.
Zulum has earlier ordered for construction of new 500 houses and some primary and secondary schools in New Marte for the returnee IDPs of the community.
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum during his visit directed the State Ministry of Reconsttruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement to commence reconstruction of 500 houses, which served as staff quarters for technicians and other staff of the Chad Basin Development Authority, CBDA.
The ministry is to also rebuild schools and other public facilities destroyed by the Insurgents.
“In a request to the CBDA, when the houses are rebuilt, the 500 houses will provide temporary shelters to displaced persons willing to return to New Marte, even though there are communities in different parts of the larger Marte Local Government Area that will also be rebuilt for their permanent occupation”.
“Insha ’Allah, we will rehabilitate the CBDA staff quarters along with 500 housing units. The returning IDPs will be resettled there, New Martte pending the completion of works and their permanent resettlement”, Zulum said.
The governor added that, on the returnee IDPs return, government would support the returnee IDPs with economic packages, which will enable the households to directly build their destroyed homes, while operating temporarily from CBDA’s quarters.