Abuja - The Borno Elders Forum has advised displaced residents of territories newly reclaimed from terrorists by the military against returning to their homes.
According to the elders, it is too early for the displaced residents to returned back home as terrorists had not been eliminated, despite significant success by the military.
Chairman of group, Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari, said what should be paramount in the minds of everyone is the reconstruction of the reclaimed territories that were totally destroyed by the insurgents.
“We decided to speak as a matter of urgency to quickly respond to an emerging decision that is being contemplated, " he said.
He noted media reports suggesting some key leaders contemplated the immediate or urgent return of refugees displaced from their communities and are either living at Internally Displaced Persons' camps.
These are in Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Abuja, the FCT, Lagos among others within Nigeria or taking refuge in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
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"We are disturbed by thoughts and speeches being made towards returning displaced persons to these communities that have just been reclaimed,” Galtimari said.
The forum added that their concerns had nothing to do with procedures regarding the March 28 and April 11general elections.
“We are an apolitical forum whose sons have respectful rights to be associated with any registered political party of their choices. Our focus is our citizens. We have an obligation towards all sons and daughters of Borno State as elders of the state.”
The leaders pleaded that displaced people should under no circumstance be disenfranchised in the forthcoming election.
Galtimari advised that the forthcoming elections should hold and that internally displaced persons should be allowed to vote from their camps as earlier agreed by Independent National Electoral Commission.
"If elections will hold in volatile nations like Afghanistan and Iraq there should be no reason to deny Nigerians under any condition of exercising their civic rights. We cautioned that reasons should be prevailed for the nation to continue to be in peace.”
- CAJ News