Kamsi Anayo

The Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Ms Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim, on Monday revealed that three African countries are set to deport 500,000 Nigerians from their countries.

Suleiman-Ibrahim disclosed this at the ongoing 77th session of UN General Assembly, in New York sayings to the affected Nigerian refugees would be deported from Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Suleiman-Ibrahim spoke on the sidelines of High-Level Side Event on “Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development: A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No one Behind.’’

“We have almost about 500,000 awaiting repatriation. The next batch will consist of 1,000 people and it is spontaneous returns that is happening now, and we are looking after them as they come back,’’ the commissioner said.

She said a Presidential Committee on Repatriation in the North -East and the Committee are to complement the Technical Working Group on repatriation, which is chaired by the Commission.

“It is a process that has been ongoing, and we have started repatriation, we are experiencing involuntary returns from Nigerians in those countries.

“So, it’s going to happen before the end of Mr President’s tenure. We would have brought everybody back home and there is funding allocated for us.”

Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum earlier in the program said that over 90,000 repentant Boko Haram-ISWAP terrorists had voluntarily surrendered to the Army for disarmament, de-radicalisation and reintegration.

“I want to bring to the notice of this gathering that within the last one year, Borno State government, and indeed the Federal Government has so far received over 90,000 repentant Boko Haram and ISWAP members.

“This has never happened anywhere in the history of the world, the insurgency is coming to an end.,’’ he said.

According to Zulum, the humanitarian crisis in the North East has been devastating, especially on the social and economic consequences on the population.

He added that it’s creating more  poverty in the sub region.

“Before assumption of duty of Mr President, 22 local government areas in Borno state out of the 27 local government areas that we have, were under the control of Boko Haram insurgents.

“But today, none of our local government areas are under the control of Boko Haram insurgents.’’

Zulum stated that Borno government commended and appreciated the support of the Federal government, and indeed, the entire UN family for their strengthening resilience in their efforts to the community.

According to him, both the FG and the UN family had ensured peace building social cohesion, and sustainable development in the entire North- East sub region of Nigeria.

“The nexus between peace, security and development need not to be over emphasised. If there is no peace, there will be no security and if there is no security, there is no development.

“I’m glad to inform you that the President has also inaugurated the Committee for the repatriation of all Nigerians that are living in the Republic of Chad, Cameroon, as well as Niger.

“And to this effect funding have been approved. And before the expiration of the tenure, we shall ensure complete repatriation of all the Nigerians that are living in other countries.”

He urged the government of Nigeria, the UN and other development partners to move their attention from providing immediate humanitarian support to finding a lasting sustainable solutions that would address the increasing problems.

“This is very important, as it has been said, by the UN Under-Secretary, that the root causes of the insurgency are leading to endemic poverty, advancing illiteracy, social inequality, drug abuse, mitigate climate action, among others.

“Therefore, we shall do everything possible to address these challenges,’’ he said.

Zulum challenged the UN to strife for the establishment of a strong monitoring and evaluation module that would help sub- national governments take the lead through effective community participation.

“The UN partners that are coming to the Northeast must partner with sub national governments. This is something that must be done in order to address the root causes,” the governor said.

“Griffiths was in Borno and all of them have seen how far the Federal Government and the Borno Government are working in addressing the challenges of climate vulnerability, addressing the challenges of poverty and also addressing the challenges of hunger.“

He commended the Federal Government, UN Deputy Secretary and the Secretary General for the historic visit of UN top official, Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Martin Griffiths to Nigeria and to Borno State.


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