At least 3,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Bama origin in Borno have returned to their hometown.

But their return which is supposed to be a thing of joy has increased need of humanitarian assistance, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said.

The Nigerian government relocated the IDPs after the Maiduguri-Bama-Banki road was reopened on March 24 by the Nigerian Military.

The road had been closed for over four years in the heat of Boko Haram activities in the northeast.

It runs from Maiduguri through Konduga, Bama, Gwoza and also connects to the neighbouring countries of Cameroon and Chad. It was shut to commercial and public traffic in September 2014.

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In a flash report, the IOM said the return had increased the population of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

The IOM said: “Following the reopening of the road, about 3,000 IDPs of Bama origin at Dalori I and II Camps in Maiduguri were relocated to Bama town by the Government of Nigeria, on April 2, 2018.

“The population of people in need of humanitarian assistance has increased significantly due to the influx, and larger number of returns are expected in the coming days/weeks”.

The UN migration agency said Bama Local Government Area (LGA) had an IDP population of 49,139 individuals from 14,064 households as per the Displacement Tracking Matrix Round XXI.

Bama is the LGA of origin for the largest number of 203,374 of displaced persons in Borno and neighbouring states.

“Majority of the original population in Bama were displaced to other locations due to insecurity and inaccessibility.

“Prior to the recent population return to Bama, over 95% of the remaining people in the LGA resided in Banki Camp with 33,081 individuals and Government Secondary School Camp with 16,058 individuals.

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“The Government has rehabilitated some communities in Shehuri and Kasugula wards of Bama, and IDPs are being assisted to return to these rehabilitated areas,” it said.

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