The Nigerian army says no fewer than 2,000 returnees celebrated Eid-el-Fitr at Gudumbali town in Guzamala local government area of Borno, for the first time in six years.
The town, which is 125 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the state capital, was deserted by locals in the area following incessant attacks by Boko Haram insurgents.
According to a statement issued by Jude Chukwu, director army public relations, the IDPs returned to their ancestral home following successes recorded in the ongoing operation Last Hold.
He said more returnees were escorted back home by troops.
“Following the achievements recorded by the troops of operation Lafiya Dole, the Nigerian army consolidated the operations with clearance operation which is Sharan Gwona da Sharan Gida and dominance patrols,” he said.
“The returnees, drawn from different IDP camps were assured of their safety and government’s assistance in rebuilding their homes and livelihoods.
“Building materials are already being stocked for distribution as efforts are intensified to clear and open up more communities in the nine Local Government Area Councils of Northern Borno.”
He quoted Abba Dikko, commander of the operation who welcomed the returnees, as saying the military would not rest on its oars until all displaced persons were safely returned to their ancestral homes.
Chukwu said the commander asked all terrorists to either surrender and be reintegrated into their communities or be “vanquished and conquered”.