The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, released the figure of returnees in an address during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Nigerian Army Day Celebration – NADCEL on Sunday.
Buratai said the return of the IDPs was made possible by the conduct of the current “Operation Last Hold’’ by the army in Borno North and Lake Chad region to clear the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists.
He described the operation as unique as it was primarily aimed at “facilitating the return of internally displaced persons from the various camps back to their ancestral homes’’.
According to him, it is also aimed at providing the much needed security for farmers to return to their farms during this planting season and beyond.
Giving the breakdown, the army chief said that in Gudumbali District alone in Guzamala Local Government Area of the state, more than 25,000 farmers, who were formally IDPs had returned
He said 10,109 had returned to communities in Kukawa Local Government Area with more still being expected.
Buratai said the army was committed more than ever before to stabilise the North East and achieve President Muhammadu Buhari’s security objective in other parts of the country, as well.
The Operation Last Hold, which is designed to clear the remnant of terrorists from North of Borno and Lake Chad and facilitate the return of IDPs to their communities began on May 1.
It is a four-month operation due to end in August.