Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
A total of 239,834 Nigerians who were displaced by the activities of insurgents in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states are still living as refugees in neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Republic of Chad and Niger Republic.
According to the National Emergency Management Agency, over 100,000 displaced Nigerians reside in Niger, while the second largest number of refugees were in Cameroon.
Quoting from a recently released humanitarian intervention report by NEMA, the agency’s Head for Media and Public Relations, Mr. Sani Datti, in a statement issued on Monday said, “There are presently 20,804 displaced Nigerians living in the Republic of Chad; 80,709 in the Republic of Cameroon; and 138,321 in the Republic of Niger.”
He noted that about 29,581 displaced Nigerians who fled their communities in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to Republic of Niger and Cameroon voluntarily returned last year.
Datti stated that 13,046 Nigerian returnees came from Niger Republic in May 2015 and were received in Geidam, Yobe State.
According to him, between April and December 2015, NEMA received about 16,595 Nigerians who voluntarily returned from Cameroon through the Sahuda border crossing area near Mubi, Adamawa State.
Datti said, “Some of the Nigerians that fled to neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon were provided with humanitarian relief support by the Federal Government of Nigeria through NEMA, to alleviate their suffering.
“The displaced Nigerians have also received humanitarian support from the host governments, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the host communities and Nigerian citizens living in the three host countries.”
Datti noted that the agency adopted a monthly Humanitarian Coordination Meeting, a forum which consists of relevant Federal Government agencies, UN systems and international non-governmental organisations.
The forum, he said, undertakes analysis on causes of humanitarian situations, conducts need assessments, identifies and provides humanitarian interventions based on its respective mandates.
“The report added that due to the successes recorded by the Nigerian military with the support of Multi-National Joint Military Task Force in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, the humanitarian dashboard is fast changing,” Datti said in the statement.
He noted that focus was gradually shifting towards reconstruction, rehabilitation, resettlement, recovery and dignified return of IDPs back home, while the process for the return of Nigerian refugees from neighbouring countries were equally on-going.
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Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja