Night markets have resurfaced in Bornu state capital, Maiduguri, northeast of Nigeria after the city was shut down three years ago as residents fled Boko Haram attacks.
Many fled the town as Boko Haram attacked residents, homes and businesses in their attempt to carve out an Islamic caliphate.
Tea trader, Abdul Rahman Abdul Jabar says he is happy that his business is picking up
There was much crisis and attacks from Boko Haram, last two years nobody can come here by this time talk less of, leave outside by this time.
“There was very, much crisis and attacks from Boko Haram, last two years nobody can come here by this time talk less of, leave outside this time, even by 5 o’ clock nobody can come to this area by this time but now thank God peace has come,” he said.
The militant group has waged a seven-year-old insurgency aimed at creating an Islamist caliphate but was pushed out by Nigerian troops.
Thousands of families have since returned home to rebuild their lives.
“We returned home to continue with the trade we left behind. We are commercial motorcycles and taxi operators. People buy the vehicles and hand them to us to operate as a means of survival,” said Ahmed Dangaskiye a driver.
The militant group still stages suicide bombings in the northeast, as well as in neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Agencies say families have returned to the region to find their homes and farmland destroyed as well as basic services wiped out.
At least 15,000 people have been killed due to the conflict while around 2.6 million people have also been displaced in the Lake Chad Basin where Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon meet.