… As SOSG Donates Ten Trucks of Relief Materials To Insecurity Victims

The usual high powered regional committee between the states of Niger Republic (Dosso, Maradi and Tahoua) and those of North West states of Nigeria having border with the Republic- Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Katsina will soon convene one of its regular meetings to find lasting solutions to the perennial problem of insecurity that has occasioned the displacement of some Nigerians to the area in Niger Republic.

In the meantime, Sokoto state government will soon dispatch ten trucks of relief materials worth millions of naira, comprising of food, clothing materials and other items, to the IDP camps at Dan Dadji Makaou, Shadakori and Garin Kaka villages in Maradi state where Sokoto state indigenes displaced as a result of the activities of some bandits in the Eastern flank of the state are being sheltered with the cooperation of the government of Niger Republic by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and some non-governmental organizations.

At the end of the visit to the IDP camps, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state and his delegation, comprising of heads of the Nigeria security organizations in the state and stakeholders, including some traditional rulers of the beleaguered Eastern parts of the state had a preparatory meeting with his host, the Governor of Maradi, Hon Zakari Oumarou, some representatives of the security outfits in Niger Republic and a cross section of stakeholders.

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Gov. Tambuwal disclosed the planned bilateral talks earlier during his visit to the Dan Dadji Makaou IDP camp, where he said: “we will meet and discuss with our counterparts here to ensure that this spate of insecurity is rolled back by God’s grace.”

Although a date for the bilateral security meeting has not been announced, Gov. Tambuwal said its primary objective will be to deepen cooperation between the Nigerien states of Dosso, Maradi and Tahoua and the four North-Western states of Nigeria that have displaced persons in the Niger Republic state.

According to him, the governments of the Nigerian states that have displaced persons in Maradi in collaboration with the federal government will work together to ensure the restoration of peace in their affected areas and Nigeria in general.

While expressing appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari and his Nigerien counterpart, President Muhammad Bazoum from the efforts made to shelter the victims of banditry in Maradi, Gov. Tambuwal also indicated that the security meeting would fashion out how the displaced persons will be returned to their homes once it is feasible to do so.

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“We thank God Almighty for making it possible for us to be here today at these IDP camps in Maradi region of Niger Republic where you are hosting our brothers and sisters.

“It is unfortunate that this has happened. It wasn’t our desire, but we are working hard with our government, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, to re-establish peace in all of the affected areas, not only in Sokoto state, but in the entire country.

“On this note, let me extend the felicitations of President Buhari to the President of Niger Republic, President Bazoum, for the hospitality and courtesies extended to our citizens that have had reasons, unfortunately, to leave their comfort zones and be here at these IDP camps.

“We thank the Governor of Maradi, the great people of this region, and, in particular, Garin Kaka and other host communities.

“We must also thank all of the donor agencies that have been supportive of the refugees that are here. We assure you that we are working hand in hand with the Government of Niger Republic. By the grace of God, soonest these citizens of ours will be taken back to their respective homes in Nigeria,” he assured.

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He appealed and cautioned the displaced persons, who have been described as law abiding by the Nigerien authorities, to sustain their good conduct, urging them to dutifully “continue to respect the laws of Niger Republic and all of the laws of your host communities.

Earlier in his remarks, Hon. Oumarou, the Governor of Maradi region of the Niger Republic, thanked the governor for the visit, saying since the incident happened he has always been in touch with Governor Tambuwal on how to find a lasting solution to the situation.

Hon. Oumarou said the number of refugees from Sokoto and other Nigerian states affected by banditry being reported in international media is being exaggerated. He added that the actual figure will be released after a census that is being conducted.

He also expressed appreciation to the Sokoto state government through Governor Tambuwal for the previous support given to displaced persons when similar situation occurred and the ten truck loads of foodstuff and clothing to be delivered to the camps.

A representative of the victims, Malam Anas Habibu, applauded Governor Tambuwal for the visit and the donation of the relief materials. He also thanked the Maradi government and other donor agencies for their support and assistance to them.

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