Despite the fact that a lot of Nigerians would be cautious to declare the Nigerian army victorious over Boko Haram due to intermittent activities of the terrorist organization, the army did declare her hard-won defeat over Boko Haram late last year after clearing out the terrorist group’s last hideout in Sambisa forest.
A cautiously optimistic population had taken the news warily and had pushed for further efforts to be made to rebuild the affected North-Eastern States which felt the brunt of Boko Haram’s activities.
The Nigerian army listening to the populace started putting initiatives in place to do just that with an end in mind to restore the North-East and make it habitable again.
One of such initiatives by the Nigerian army is the Marathon for Peace 2017 which is being organized by sports consultancy firm, Twin Huts Concept, in conjunction with the Nigerian Army.
What does the Marathon for Peace 2017 Aim to Achieve?
The major aim of the marathon is to promote peace, harmony, and brotherhood in the zone while assuring investors that normalcy has returned to Nigeria’s North-East.
Marathons have been run by various people over the years to promote a variety of charitable efforts. A successful Marathon for Peace will go a long way to show the possibilities for healing available to Nigeria’s Nort-East.
Restoring Nigeria’s North-East is especially important considering a number of factors like the UN’s recently expressed concerns about the forced return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon in spite of a recent tripartite agreement aimed at ensuring voluntary returns of nationals.
In a statement by a UNHCR Spokesperson, Babar Balogh, which was released on Tuesday, the organisation said it was particularly concerned that “these forced returns have continued unabated.”
Cameroon has forcefully returned more than 2,600 refugees back to Nigerian border villages “against their will.” Most of these refugees had fled violent attacks from Boko Haram and if efforts to rebuild are not made, voluntary returns of nationals will be an impossibility.
Tunde Giwa-Daramola, the chairman of Twin Huts Concept, spoke to NAN and said that the initiative came from Lieutenant General T. Y. Buratai, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff. Money made through the Marathon for Peace 2017 will be used for the welfare and rehabilitation of internally displaced people (IDPs).
The event has been tentatively fixed for April 27 in Borno, with prizes and awards for winners in different categories.