Gyang Bere, Jos
The Nigerian Army under the Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) has said that the over 38, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) spread across 17 camps in Barkin-Ladi, Jos South and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau state would be relocated to their ancestral homes before March 2019.
Commander of the Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH), Maj.-Gen. Agustine Agundu disclosed this, on Wednesday, while briefing journalists at the OPSH Headquarters, in Jos, Plateau State.
Gen. Agundu said aside the rehabilitation and resettlement committee set up by the Plateau State Government, the Command has also set up a practical committee which has gone to 40 villages affected by the herdsmen attacks in preparation for the resettlement of the IDPs.
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“We had earlier set up a committee to assess the extent of destructions within the deserted villages and the possibility of establishing Strike Force Bases as a prelude to encouraging IDPs to return to their ancestral homes.
“The committee undertook painstaking tour of 40 villages in which their findings categorised in to three.
“Villages that were abandoned out of fear of insecurity; villages that were attacked with some houses partially destroyed and villages that were attacked with some houses completely destroyed.
“We will ensure the return of IDPs for the villages abandoned out of fear in phase one from 20th November to 30th December, 2018, while the return of IDPs for villages attacked and some houses completely destroyed and not completely destroyed in phase two and three will commence from 10th January to 5th March, 2019 and beyond.”
Gen. Agundu said seven villages, including Hei, Burdinga, Kuzen, Kazok, Razat, Zat and Bet and Maraba Kantoma were villages that were abandoned out of fear, while 24 villages that were completely and partially destroyed included; Kubong, Kedawan, Ratis, Kasa Shonong, Shonong, Najahai Shonong, Kufang, Mase, Nicha, Zim, Jong, Swai, Zargok, Jeko, Pwabiduk, Kaching, Nengon Gashish all in Gashish District of Barkin-Ladi Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau state.
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He expressed satisfaction with the zeal and courage exhibited by the IDPs to return home, saying the Command would move down with men to the villages abandoned due to fear this week and beefed up security in the areas before returning women, children and the aged.
Gen. Agundu also said the Command would establish Forward Operation Bases (FOBs) in strategic locations to dominate the general area in order to give confidence to the inhabitants to return home.
He donated mattress, foodstuffs and windows among other toiletries materials worth millions of naira to Privilege Abode for Care of Orphans and Widows Fundation Bukuru, where children whose parents were murdered during crisis and attacks are taking refuge.