Over 120,000 Nigerian refugees currently residing in Cameroon are urgently seeking the assistance of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to facilitate their return to their ancestral homes in Borno State.
PLATFORM TIMES gathered that the plea was officially communicated on February 8, 2024, through a letter addressed to Tinubu by Mr. Luka Isaac, the president of the Nigerian Refugees in Cameroon (NRC), a copy of the letter was sighted on Sunday.
The refugees, hailing from Gwoza East of the local council, encompassing 21 communities including Arganjara, Agapalawa, Amuda, and 15 other villages near the Cameroon border, highlighted their dire situation at the Minawao Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp.
Isaac emphasised, “We cannot return to our communities due to the continuous occupation of our ancestral homes by Boko Haram terrorists since 2013.”
In addition to appealing for Tinubu’s intervention, the refugees are urging the Federal Government and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to provide adequate compensation for the hardships, mental trauma, and property damages suffered in Gwoza local council.
Isaac stressed that their return to Nigeria would not only protect them from harassment and dehumanisation but would also restore the Federal Government’s image on the international stage.
Mainly consisting of women and children, the refugees have outlined conditions for their return, including the improvement of security in Gwoza East through the deployment of additional soldiers and fighting equipment.
They also called for the establishment of IDP camps in Nigeria equipped with essential facilities for water supply, education, and healthcare.
Isaac expressed concern about the deteriorating living conditions in the Cameroon camp, stating, “Since 2013, supplies have depleted, exposing the refugees to challenges such as hunger and inadequate healthcare services.”
The refugees hope that prompt action from President Tinubu and the relevant authorities will alleviate their plight and facilitate their safe return to Nigeria.
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