Abuja - The Federal Government has advised Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to seek proper advice and clearance from security and relevant environmental agency before returning home.
Mike Omeri, Coordinator of the National Information Centre, gave the advice on Thursday in Abuja while giving update on the security situation in the North-East, at a news conference.
"The returnees are advised to wait for proper security and environmental clearance from appropriate government organs before returning to their homes," Omeri said.
He said aside from other initiatives, government had on Tuesday inaugurated another special committee on resettlement of IDPs with a clear mandate.
The coordinator said that members of the committee were drawn from relevant government agencies including the National Orientation Agency (NOA), National Emergency Management Agency, the Red Cross and the Victims Support Fund.
Omeri said the mandate of the committee was to assess the status of liberated communities for occupation; assess and determine the needs of IDPs and implement modalities for their return, among others.
On election security in the North-East, he said activities of remaining elements of Boko Haram and disposition of some youth wings of political parties still posed serious challenge in the area.
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"It is therefore in this regard that security forces have put in place a number of measures to ensure hitch-free elections.
"Citizens are, therefore, advised to conduct themselves responsibly and also abide by whatever measures put in place by the military and other relevant government agencies to achieve maximum success,’’ he said.
According to Omeri, the measures were adopted for the participation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) at locations properly designated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
On the reported adoption of women and children in Damasak, Borno, Omeri described the report as false.
"The centre wishes to clarify that there is no fresh abduction in Damasak, Borno, as has been reported.
"Additionally, the centre does not have information on the number of those missing after the liberation of the community.
"Damasak was under the control of Boko Haram for several months before being liberated last week by the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) troops.
"During their occupation of Damasak, Boko Haram moved the community members from their homes to an Islamiyya School.
"However, upon hearing of the impending military attack, the insurgents released women, the elderly and children before retreating from Damasak," the coordinator said.