The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has described the return of 1,200 displaced residents of the famous fishing community of Baga, in Borno State, as a major milestone in the ongoing war against insurgency.
This, according to BMO, is because the town was at the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency activities since 2013 when at least 185 people were killed and over 2000 homes destroyed by the terror group.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that the return of Baga residents is a clear sign of the gradual return to normalcy.
“Any keen observer of the Boko Haram insurgency can easily recall that the fishing community located close to the shores of the Lake Chad had for years witnessed at least two massacres at the height of the insurgency.
“About 185 people were killed in the first one recorded in 2013, while unofficial accounts indicated that close to 2000 residents died in a January 2015 incident that has since been described as the largest massacre by the terrorists since the insurgents took up arms.
“But today, the survivors of the genocide carried out by the insurgents are now formally back in Doron Baga which Boko Haram considered as a place of economic interest because of its immense large scale fishing activities.
“We invite Nigerians to note that if the community is not safe, there is no way the people who have been living in IDP camps in neighbouring Monguno town would be comfortable to return”.
BMO maintained that the return is a pointer to the success of the war against Boko Haram and ISWAP in the North East.
“For at least two years, the military had pushed the insurgents to the fringes of Lake Chad after dislodging them from the large swathe of territories they had occupied prior to the advent of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“So it was not surprising that a chunk of their evil activities were restricted to the vicinity of the Lake as recently as late 2020 when Boko Haram terrorists ambushed the convoy of Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum on the outskirts of Baga.
“The Governor had urged the military to complete the work it had began by ensuring that the insurgents are routed from the area. Today, the troops have created an atmosphere for the return of socio-economic activities in the fishing community.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the town which lost 3,100 structures in the 2015 massacre, according to Amnesty International, has now had its homes and public institutions rebuilt. It has also been confirmed that fishing activities are back in the community that once housed one of the largest fish markets in Northern Nigeria.
“This confirms what President Muhammadu Buhari and the military authorities have been saying about the success of the ongoing war against the insurgents.
“We commend Governor Zulum for the infusion of cash into the community by handing out N10,000 each to 716 women and 486 men, aside from bags of food items and clothing”.
BMO urged other State Governors to take a cue from Professor Zulum by cooperating with security agencies in order to guarantee the security and welfare of people in their domains.