ABUJA, Nigeria – Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, on Thursday met Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to conclude intergovernmental efforts for voluntary repatriation of thousands of Borno citizens currently taking refuge in parts of Cameroon, after fleeing from Boko Haram attacks.
The meeting held in Abuja, was a follow up to Zulum’s series of meetings with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, top executives of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, (UNHCR), among other stakeholders.
The meeting discussed the role of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has the mandate to facilitate the repatriation through diplomatic channels, with the hope to undertake it, in January 2021
Nigeria’s serving Ambassador to China, Amb. Baba Jidda, was in attendance as a statesman from Borno state.
Over 60,000 Nigerian refugees, majority from Borno and some from Adamawa states are believed to be in Minwao camp in Cameroon, which Zulum had visited and supported with social protection reliefs.
The governor has also approved ongoing construction of thousands of houses in which repatriated refugees would be permanently resettled in safe communities.
Zulum was also in the Niger Republic and the Republic of Chad where Borno citizens are also there as refugees who fled insurgent attacks.
In both countries, the governor authorized and supervised the distribution of food items and cash reliefs to thousands of families, some of whom the governor had to cross Lake Chad waters in order to reach them in Baga Sola Refugees camp within the Chadian border territory. N50m was distributed to 5,000 families in the area a forthright ago.
Within that period, Zulum was in N’Djamena in Chad, hosted by President Iddris Deby, to discussed repatriation of thousands of Nigerian refugees, majority from Borno.
The meeting was attended by Nigerian Ambassador to Chad, Zannah Kolo, who represented Nigeria’s federal ministry of foreign affairs.