The Borno Government on Saturday advised Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) whose communities had been reclaimed by the military to exercise restraint in rushing back home.
This is in view of the fear of dangerous reptiles and landmines planted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in such communities.
Dr Haruna Mishelia, the Commissioner of Housing and Rural Electrification in the state gave the advice while addressing newsmen in Maiduguri.
Mishelia said that though it was the wish of the state government for IDPs to return home quickly, a number of measures had to be taken to safeguard their lives after returning home.
“You will agree with me that there is no place like home. It is the wish of government to see the IDPs return home as quickly as possible.
“But certain issues must be addressed to prevent another loss of lives through reptiles attacks and outbreak of diseases,” he said.
He said that government was not unmindful of the discomfort the displaced persons were passing through at the IDPs camps.
“Government is aware of the discomfort the displaced persons are passing through at present.
“But it is in their own interest to stay back a little to allow us to clear the place of reptiles and other dangerous animals by carrying out large scale disinfection,” Mishelia said.
He said government was also working in collaboration with the security agencies to clear the areas of possible landmines buried by the insurgents.
“It is a well known phenomenon that the insurgents usually plant landmines in areas occupied by them for a period of time.
“In some areas, they plant explosives and landmines in public places, while in others, they pollute sources of water of the communities by dumping toxic substances.
He said that the insurgents also engaged in massive destruction of public infrastructure in many areas.
“Government must rebuild social amenities destroyed by the insurgents before allowing the displaced persons to go back to their homes.
“This is most especially in areas where the main sources of water to the communities have been destroyed by the insurgents,” he said.
He described as premature the calls by some individuals for the IDPs to return home immediately