From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

Borno Govenor, Babagana Zulum, has visited a former Boko Haram stronghold and Borno’s liberated town along the borders with Chad and Niger republics.

The visit to volatile Malam-Fatori, at the weekend, according to the governor’s spokesman, Isa Gusau, was to prepare ground ahead of return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees as well  

“The visit aimed to start preparing the liberated Boko Haram stronghold for reconstruction and safe return of refugees, who since 2014, fled the town to Bosso and Diffa in Niger Republic,” Gusau said in a statement.

He said Zulum approved 10 patrol vehicles to the military to enhance security surveillance.

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The spokesman said the governor also held interactive meeting with the military commander in the restive town and directed the State Rural Water Supply Agency to drill deep aquifer borehole within the military barracks, to address problems of access to water supply faced by the soldiers. 

Zulum addressed troops in the Front-line and also asses public infrastructure destroyed by Boko Haram.

Last Thursday, he had held meeting with the Niger President, Bazoum Mohammed, over safe and voluntary evacuation of Nigerian refugees in the country back to Borno.

Malam-Fatori, a town some 205 kilometres to Maiduguri, Borno capital, is the last military post along the Nigerian border with Niger and Chad. It has experienced chains of Boko Haram attacks, especially on military troops, including the killing of Lieutenant Colonel Abu Ali, then commanding officer of 272 Task Force Tank Battalion, killed on November 4, 2016.