Mohammed Shehu-Timta, the emir of Gwoza in Borno state, has returned to his throne five years after he was displaced by Boko Haram insurgents.
Shehu-Timta, with hundreds of other residents, had fled Gwoza since 2014 when the insurgents continuously attacked the town.
Upon his return on Monday, the emir said he voluntarily returned home to build confidence and encouraged his subjects to also return home.
“Dozens of my people ran for their lives and became internally displaced persons in Maiduguri, Adamawa, Abuja and Lagos, while some fled to Cameroon,” he said.
“Today’s is my happiest day in life as I officially returned to my domain after been displaced by insurgents.
“I, therefore, call all people of Gwoza to come back home, so that we will rebuild our communities.”
Shehu-Timta was accompanied by Usman Kadafur, Borno state deputy governor, Ali Ndume, senator for Borno south, members of the Borno state house of assembly and village heads to a celebration welcoming the emir.
Kadafur, speaking on behalf of Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, said the return of the monarch signified the return of civic authority in the local institution as it is a “symbol and pride of every society”.
“I felicitate with the Emir and people of Gwoza over the official relocation and return of our Emir back to his palace after years in Maiduguri,” he said.
“This administration will not afford to toy with the people of Gwoza and the traditional institution.
“I, therefore, call on you to support the Emir and security agencies to end insurgency in order to move the emirate forward.
“The government is not unaware of the numerous challenges related to the relocation of the Emir. We are going to accelerate the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Gwoza General Hospital, water sources and other public utility buildings, among others.”
He added that the government will fast track construction of the mega schools to enable the students to resume classes.