Cameroon, Nigeria to reopen border markets and schools in Boko Haram-free areas
Markets will be re-opened and schools re-built along the shared border between Cameroon and Nigeria after the area was declared free of Boko Haram militants — this is the latest plan presented by governors from both countries.
Governor of Nigeria’s Borno state, Babagana Umara Zulum, on Thursday (25 August) said President Muhammadu Buhari instructed governors of border states affected by Boko Haram to work with neighboring countries to improve living conditions. “We are doing everything possible to ensure that the Banki market is reestablished,” Babagana said after meeting a delegation led by Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of Cameroon’s Far North Region. “The bringing of cattle from the Republic of Chad to Cameroon, to Nigeria had stopped. My humble self and the governor will go and reopen the cattle route from Gamboru-Ngala. It will improve the economy of Nigeria and improve the economy of Cameroon. By September, we shall be going to Chad and Niger to see how we can improve on our bilateral relationships.”
Babagana also reminded that the Gamboru-Ngala cattle market, which is the largest in northeast Nigeria, was shut down in May 2014 after Boko Haram fighters massacred 300 civilians and abducted 200 people. The market is near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon. Bakari, who is also chairman of the Lake Chad Basin Governors Forum, says he was asked by Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, to visit border localities where Boko Haram has been eliminated. The president also dispatched his minister of public works to make sure that border roads in areas where Boko Haram has been defeated are repaired to boost cross border trade. He said the Banki market is among several dozen near the Cameroon-Nigeria border that want to collectively reopen.