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C’ River govt laments harbouring over 200,000 IDPs

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

The government of Cross River state has lamented that within the last four years, it has been burdened by not fewer than two hundred thousand refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons.

The Director General of the State Migration and Control Agency, Prince Mike Abuo, raised the alarm in Calabar, the state capital on Tuesday (today), shortly after a paper presentation in a workshop organized by Children of Rural Africa- Nigeria, COR Africa.

Prince Abuo said that the figure is made up of Cameroonian refugees, internally displaced persons from Bakassi and places torn apart by communal conflicts.

The DG who lamented the effect of such number of people on the State, called on the federal government and the International Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons to conduct a comprehensive survey of refugees and IDPs in the state.

Prince Abuo argued that the survey would make it easy for a database to be built to enable the government have a full grasp of actual figure of migrants and refugees in the state.

Decrying the ceding of Bakassi Cameroon, the DG said the influx of displaced persons from the ceded peninsular as well as refugees from Cameroon who are still currently being held up in bad condition in Obanlikwu Local Government Area of the state demand more attention from the international communities.

“We have influx of thousands of refugees because of the civil war in the Cameroon. It’s overwhelming. This is not something that the state government alone can handle.

“We also call on the UNHCR to stand by us by improving upon the good works that they have been doing and the International Organization for Migration, IOM and other international organizations to provide some funding and intervention.

“We call for increase in terms of international funding to provide succor for this persons. The facilities that are available are not enough to cater for the number of refugees that are in the state,” Prince Abuo stated.

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