Nigeria Airforce (NAF) C130 has dropped about 133 refugees out of 4000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon to Adamawa State.
The Director Refugees and Migrant Affairs of National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internal Displaced Persons, Mr Lawal Mohammed Hamidu, made the disclosure at the Yola International Airport in Adamawa State.
He said one of the rules of their homecoming is to return voluntarily and not being repatriated or deported, adding that the refugees are not forced to return but out of their will.
Hamidu said so far, only 133 Adamawa indigenes have signed the agreement to return in the first batch against the earlier planned to repatriate of 4,000 Nigerians who were displaced by Boko Haram insurgency and fled to Cameroon to take refuge.
He further explained that presently 97,000 Nigerians mostly Borno Yobe and Adamawa states indigenes are still taking refuge in Cameroon, adding that they decided to start with Adamawa indigenes because it is safer among the front line states Borno and Yobe.
Hamidu said they are yet to ascertain reasons behind their refusal to return home, adding that after the repatriation they will go back to Cameroon to find out the reason that informed their refusal to return home.
According to him, there are 800 Adamawa indigenes taking refuge in both the official camps and camps within the host community in Cameroon, only 133 agreed to return
He said the 133 refugees that returned will spend six days in a prepared camp at Bamba in the state capital to be screened and identify their local government areas.
He maintained that a committee was in place to train them in any kind of skills acquisition of their choice and entrepreneurship before they are empowered financially to be useful to their society.
One of the refugees, who simply identified himself as Yusuf, who arrived the Yola International Airport at 5: 20 pm, said they have lived in Cameroon for about six years since they were forced out of their ancestral homes by the insurgents.
He appreciated the Nigerian government and other humanitarian workers for coming to their aid.
Yusuf said the reason some of their colleagues are refusing to return is because of the fear of the unknown, adding that some of them are been traumatised and have not recovered from the shock.
He said it is left on the government to go back to sensitize them and convince them that normalcy has returned as Boko Haram has evacated those places once held.
UNHCR officer, Miss Bina Emmanuel, said the United Nations Agency was happy to welcome the women and children to their home because there is nothing like home.
She said the UNHCR was particularly interested in the welfare of the children that is why it played a pivotal role to enable the refugees to return to Nigeria.
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