Over 120, 000 refugees in Cameroon plead Tinubu to return them
By Njadvara Musa
The over 120, 000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, have pleaded with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to return them to their ancestral homes in Borno state, Nigeria.
The refugees’ pleadings were made, yesterday (Monday), in Maiduguri, in a February 8, 2024 letter to President Tinubu, by Luka Isaac, the president of Nigerian Refugees in Cameroon (NRC).
According to him, the refugees are from Gwoza East of the local council, comprising 21 communities that included Arganjara, Agapalawa, Amuda, and 15 other villages in the border areas with Cameroon.
Lamenting refugees’ living conditions at the Minawao Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, he said: “We cannot return to our communities, because of the continuous occupation of ancestral homes by the Boko Haram terrorists since 2013.
The refugees also pleaded with the Federal Government and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to pay adequate compensations to them, as well as the general damages of their property in Gwoza local council.
According to the refugees’ President, the compensations should be on the untold hardships, mental traumas, and the disruption of family lives, while in the Cameroonian IDP camp.
Isaac noted that the refugees’ return to Nigeria will not only save them from harassment and dehumanisation, but redeem the image of the Federal Government from the international community.
The refugees comprising mainly women and children, set conditions of their return to Nigeria;
“The security situation in Gwoza East will be improved with the deployment of more soldiers and fighting equipment,” said Isaac in the letter to Tinubu.
Besides improved security, IDP camps should be established with infrastructural facilities for water supply, education and healthcare delivery services.
On the refugees’ living conditions in Cameroon camp, Isaac said: “Your Excellency, President Tinubu, since 2013 the IDPs have been attacked and displaced from their ancestral homes by the Boko Haram terrorists.
“On arrival in Cameroon in 2013, the authorities, United Nations Agencies and national and international organisations attended to our basic needs of life in a camp, located in the north part of the country.
Isaac continued: “At present the supplies have been depleted, thereby exposing the refugees to various challenges.” Stating that the challenges comprise hunger and inadequate healthcare services.