Maj.-Gen. Abdul Khalifa, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, on Wednesday presented Christmas gifts to displaced families in Gubio Camp in Jere Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno.
The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), comprising 6,664 households and 32, 232 individuals, were displaced from Abadam, Kukawa, Monguno, Nganzai, Bama, Konduga, Ngala, Kala Balge and Gwoza LGAs, in the aftermath of insurgents attacks in 2015.
Presenting the items to the IDPs, Khalifa, who was represented by Lt.-Col. Andrew Wuyep, Commander of 195 Battalion of the Army, said that the gesture was to celebrate with the displaced families and to put smiles on their faces during the festive period.
He said that the event, which witnessed the distribution of foods, drinks, noodles, biscuit and clothes, was also meant to improve civilian-military relations in the host communities.
Khalifa said: “This exercise is in continuation of our efforts geared at winning the hearts and minds of the civil population to support the Army’s counter-insurgency campaigns, in line with the goals of the Chief of Army Staff.
“This event also provided a favourable platform to sensitise the IDPs to the need to be more security conscious and responsive in reporting to the security agencies any suspected movement or strange activity that would breach peace.”
The Acting GOC reiterated the determination of the Nigerian military to restore lasting peace and normalcy in the North-East.
He encouraged the IDPs to remain resolute until the crisis was over for them to return to their homes.
Responding, Goni Mele, one of the displaced persons, commended the Army for the show of love by identifying with the displaced families at the time of their needs.
Mele prayed to God to make the insurgents, whose activities had led to the death and displacement of thousands of Nigerians, to repent and embrace peace.
Ya-Bintu Usman, another displaced person, said that the clothes given to her children would keep them warm during the Harmattan, adding that it had not been easy being in the IDPs camp.