In the past few weeks, a lot of Nigerians are being deported by the Cameroonian government with the figure rising to over 2000. Those affected according to an investigation by our correspondent were the internally displaced persons (IDPs) taking refuge on Cameroonian land.
At the moment, Cameroon is trying to grapple with worsening insecurity due to attacks by the deadly Islamic Boko Haram sect.
It has closed down mosques and banned the use of Hijab which is believed to be used by the insurgents to cause mayhem.
The development which came shortly after a bomb exploded in one of the camps earmarked for IDPs from Nigeria by the Cameroonian authorities. Besides, the Nigerian immigration Service were yesterday notified about repatriation of another 1500 IDPs, of Nigerian migrants taking refuge in camps set up by Cameroonian government along its border with Nigeria.
Only last week, Nigerian Immigration Service Comptroller in charge of Adamawa and Taraba states Mr. Ubi Ikpi Nkanu disclosed to newsmen, the repatriation of 520 Nigerians by Cameroonian authorities, displaced into that country as result of the deadly Boko Haram insurgency.
A top ranking officer of Nigerian immigration service who confided in our reporter on the stage of privity to the repatriation of this new batch of 1500 IDPs, said the actions of their Cameroonian counterpart, were due to security concerns.
“They were part of precautionary steps being taken by Cameroonian Authorities to deal with worsening insecurity on its home soil arising from escalating Boko Haram attacks”, he said.
He added that with this development, “the Cameroonian government has began the closure of IDP camps along its borders, with the repatriation of over 1500 IDPs back to Nigeria”.
The highly placed immigration official who did not want his name known disclosed, that the Nigerian immigration service has been contacted by the Cameroonian government about the repatriation of another set of IDPs numbering over 1500.
He explained that the actions of the Cameroonian authorities was not wilful but as a result of ” security concerns based on their suspicion that some of the attacks on their home soil were bein perpetrated with the collaboration of some of the IDPs”.
He said the fear that some members of the dreaded Islamic sect may be amongst the IDPs, caused the Cameroonain authorities to take the “involuntary action of repatriating these set of 1500 IDPs and thereby dismantling the camps in the affected location”.
He also expressed worries that Cameroonian government might just have begun to tacitly close down most of the camps on their soil because only recently they repatriated over 500 IDPs.
According to him, most of the repatriated persons comprised of women and children.
Investigations made by Daily Times revealed that the IDPs repatriated by the Cameroonian authorities are now camped at Sagoda, a border community adjoining both countries, and that due to logistic constraints on the side of the Nigeria authorities, the IDPs were yet to be evacuated. Even though a representative of the Borno State government is said to be in touch with the Adamawa State government, as both are expected to collaborate to ensure the resettlement of repatriated IDPs in the camps of either state.
But evacuation of the IDPs has been constrained as the Adamawa command of the immigration Service, does not have any trucks or bus to convey the IDP’s and is consequently depending on the state governors of Adamawa and Borno to provide them with buses to ferry the IDPs.
However, it was learnt that the conspicuous involvement of the Borno state government was borne out of the fact that most of repatriated IDPs are of Borno extraction.
Majority of them are Borno State indigenes who fled the horrific attacks of the sect waged on Gworza and other Borno communities which forced them flee into Cameroon and Chad.