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Please fix your issues, refugee boss pleads with Cameroonians


After 36 years in office, President Biya adamantly pursues another 7-year term

By Tajudeen Hamzat


The Nigerian National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons is on account of the soaring refugee population, pleading with the warring sides in the ongoing separatist conflict in Cameroon to please resolve their issues.

According to the body, there were presently as much as 21,000 Cameroonian refugees domiciled in Cross River State alone who fled the crisis between the authorities and separatists fighting for independence of the Southern part of that country.

The crisis which dates back to the 1961 plebiscite in that country which had re-united the people of the area with their kith and kin in the north of the country had since its recent explosion in 2017 succeeded in producing thousands of Cameroonian refugees, including women and children.

With the crisis escalating, Cameroonian forces have now and again breached Nigeria’s sovereignty, crossing into neighbouring areas within the country to conduct operations among citizens, where thousands of people have fled from Cameroon’s restive anglophone regions.

Responding on the escalation of the conflict in Ikom, Cross River State, last week, Nigeria’s Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, Mr Ayasanya Akintunde stated that the refugees were in various parts of Cross River State, namely Ikom, Etung, Akampka, Boki and Obanlikwu and are being catered for by the Nigerian government, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, donor agencies and philanthropic organisations.

He reealed: “Millions of people are displaced all over the world because of conflicts in their countries and Nigeria is playing host to about 21,000 refugees from neighbouring Cameroon Republic and we hope that the crisis will be resolved timely to enable the refugees return home.”

In his remarks, the UNHCR field officer, Muhammed Nasry, said the agency was doing everything within its powers to provide succour for the refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. He said the World Refugee Day was a time to cognise the humanity of refugees and called for positive actions from stakeholders that can alleviate the plight of the refugees.

Meanwhile, 85- year old President Paul Biya of Cameroon, who has been in power as President since 1982, and whose inflexibility has been a critical factor in stoking the embers of the present conflict is adamant on running for office one more time to secure yet another 7-year mandate. Elections are due to be held in October 2018.


President Paul Biya of Cameroon

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