Adamawa State government is preparing to receive another batch of 4,000 out of the 85,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Cameroon by next month.
This is sequel to the tripartite agreement signed between Nigeria, Cameroon and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon.
Newsmen reported that the tripartite agreement was signed by the representatives of the parties during a courtesy call on Governor Bindo Jibrilla at the Government House, Yola, by the Technical Working Group of the committee on the return of refugees from Cameroon, led by Bridget Eno of the UNHCR.
The governor, who was represented by Martins Babale, his deputy, said Adamawa which shares border with Cameroon was highly committed to the course of IDPs affected by insurgency.
While commending Cameroon for its magnanimity and support, the governor said certain guidelines would be taken into consideration to facilitate their return, adding that the refugees would be received gradually till the whole 85,000 were finally repatriated.
He explained: “First, we have to take into consideration how to provide adequate security for them which is the action plan, as our duty is to regulate and supervise the standard of operation procedure in bringing them back to the country.
“We also have to look at the issue of rehabilitation, which is also very important, as we want to restore them to their former states and their ancestral homes.
“The government also has other approaches towards this. First, we give them the option of returning to their ancestral homes, and we have to eliminate the issue of secondary displacement by making sure communities are in proper conditions to accommodate them.
“As a government, we have taken the plight of IDPs very seriously, as we have even sponsored some to study in schools within the state as well as assisted widows and children legally and materially. We shall not relent in our own responsibility in doing what is good for the people.”
Speaking earlier, Eno, the leader of the delegation, said the group was on assessment of areas of the refugees, adding that Adamawa would be the first to host the returnees because of its unruffled terrains, as UNHCR would continue to support the state in its fight against insurgency.