The newly sworn-in Minister for Humanitarian Services, Disaster Mangement and Internally Displaced Perons, Sadiya Faruk, while receiving a total of 133 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon in Nigeria, has assured them of government welfare.
Faruk, stated that the refugees will continue until all those who are willing to return are brought back home.
The Nigerian refugees who fled Nigeria for Cameroon as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, arrived at the Yola International Airport aboard the Nigerian Air Force C130 Thursday evening.
They were in convoy by officials of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), International Organization Migration (IOM), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), security agencies and other humanitarian organisations.
The refugees which comprise mostly women and Children were properly received and provided with food before going through a screening process.
According to the UNHCR Representative, Roger Volo, the exercise is a voluntary repatriation because the refugees voluntarily signed to return to their ancestral homes.
Volo, disclosed that there are about 97,000 Nigerians taking refuge in Cameroon out of which 8,000 are from Adamawa state while the rest are indigenes of Borno and Yobe State.
Speaking through the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Secretary to the State Government, Bashiri Ahmed, said he was delighted about their return.
Also speaking to one of the returnees, said that, while in Cameroon, she and her family suffered s hardship.
“We were in Cameroon for five years but I left my husband there because he wanted to harvest his farm before returning home in the next batch.
“While in Cameroon we suffered, we didn’t have water and we suffered a lot to fetch fire wood for our cooking. Whenever they give us food, we eat half of it while we sell the other half to meet our other needs.
We were not given other condiments except salt, so we need money to buy other food items. “We are very happy to be back home. We thank God and also the government for bringing us back home,” she said.