Residents of Bama in Borno State has organised special anniversary to celebrate the return of peace and normalcy to the war torn community.
The insurgents’ attack caused massive destruction and displacement of thousands of the inhabitants of the town.
The town was liberated in 2016 by the military and most of the displaced persons resettled in 2020.
The Shehu of Bama, Alhaji Umar Kyari, who spoke at a cultural event on Saturday in Bama, said the anniversary was aimed at building resilience, peace restoration and showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the people.
Kyari said the anniversary was organised in collaboration between the Bama Emirate Council and the Mercy Corps, an International Non Governmental Organisation (iNGO).
“This event was conceived by Bama Emirate Council to enhance greater understanding of our language and culture through which we promote peace and development.
“The ceremony is a signal to all and sundry that peace has return to Bama, and Bama is on the path of restoration of its lost glory.
“This event is significant and provides opportunity for us to celebrate our unique culture, tradition and diversity.
“This cultural day would not have been possible without the support, understanding and cooperation of the Borno State Government and Mercy Corps.
“It is my hope that this day will mark the beginning of a new era of peace, security and prosperity in Bama, and renewed interest in our history, culture and tradition,” he said.
Kyari lauded the contributions of the military, police and other security agencies as well as members of vigilante groups in consolidating the atmosphere of peace and tranquillity being enjoyed in the area.
In his remark, Mr Ndubusi Anyawu, Country Director of the Mercy Corps, said the organisation would continue to share common vision with the emirate counil towards achieving sustainable recovery and development.
Anyawu said the organisation was working in partnership with the state and local governments as well as community leaders to fast track resettlement and recovery processes in the state.
He said the organisation with the support of the European Union (EU) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has initiated viable programmes to fast track resettlement and peace restoration processes.
The organisation, he said, distributed food items to 5,000 deserving households and Multi-purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) to 1,200 households in Bama in the past six months.
He listed other projects to include rehabilitation of 300 shelters, construction of five solar motorised boreholes and training of 1,200 youth on different skills.
Others were the installation of five transformers in resettled communities, food distribution to 2, 000 households, rehabilitation and equipping of Multi Skills Training Center (MSTRC), Bama, Anyawu said.
“The interventions are part of our mission to see a Bama that is empowered, resilient and secured.”
Also speaking, Alhaji Babakura Abba-Jato, the state Commissioner of Information, lauded the organisation over its intervention in Bama.
Abba-Jato said the gesture was in inline with the resettlement and empowerment programmes of the state government.
Abba-Jato who hailed from Bama recounted the gory experiences of the displaced persons in the hands of the insurgents, noting that several wealthy individuals were pauperised. (NAN)