By Dipo Olowookere
No fewer than 1,000 persons have been deployed to Bama town by the Borno State Government to clean and fumigate major roads and streets in the town, which was retaken from Boko Haram by the Nigerian military recently.
The clean-up exercise and fumigation of the town are being carried out against snakes and other reptiles, which had hitherto turned residential houses into their breeding ground due to absence of human activities.
Governor Kashim Shettima, who recently relocated to Bama, directed the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out the exercise as part of ground preparations for the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) after reconstruction works.
Bama is the second largest town in Borno State which is next to Maiduguri and it was the worst hit by the Boko Haram attacks with more than 80 percent of public and private buildings, including hospitals, schools, water and electricity installations were all destroyed.
The Sole Administrator of the agency, Mallam Nassir Surundi, who conducted journalists round different streets in the town, promised that “Bama will wear a new look different from the bush and the debris you see around.”
He explained that, “Without us clearing the roads, workers wouldn’t have access to reconstruction sites while the town will continue to look like a war zone, we are committed to Governor Kashim Shettima’s mission of changing Bama from insurgency has turned into.”
He disclosed that 17 streets had so far been cleared of giant weeds that grew up since residents fled Bama town in the wake of attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in September, 2014.
Mr Surundi reiterated that the agency was working with security agencies, which specialize in clearing mines, following the successful fumigation and clearing of Dikwa, Magumeri, Konduga and some parts of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council.
He explained that Governor Shettima had equipped the agency with specialized trucks, large stock of chemicals, while funds were regularly released for the employment of ad-hoc staff, where necessary, to fast track the clearing process.