Commission registers 7,200 Bakassi returnees, pledges help

Bakassi returnees scrambling for food at Ifa-Okon village in Essien Udim LGA, Akwa Ibom on Friday (2/5/17). 02980/2/5/2017/Isaiah Eka/HB/ICENAN

The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, said it has registered more than 7,200 Bakassi returnees in Akwa Ibom in nine camps spread across the state.

Sadyia Farouq, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Uyo on Monday after an inspection of the IDPs camps.

Mrs. Farouq, represented by Andy Ubon, South-South Zonal Coordinator for the Commission, said the team visited nine Bakassi returnees internally displaced persons camp to ascertain the welfare of persons in the camps and report back.

She explained that about 800 households were recorded in each camp in 31 Local Government Area of the State.

Mrs. Farouq listed the camps visited to include, Ikot Ada Idem in Ibiono Ibom, Ifa-Okon village in Essien Udim, Ituk Mbang in Uruan LGA.

Others included, Atabong in Okobo, Iko Ekit in Eket, Uta Ewa in Ikot Abasi, Ikono, Mbo and Ikot Oto in Ikot Ekpene LGA.

“The situation on ground is disheartening, honestly, I did not believe the condition I met this people. No water, adequate shelter and health facilities are lacking in the camps visited.

“We have about 800 households in each of the camp, a family that comprises of father, mother and children.

“The Commission has seen things for itself in all the camps, will do its best to alleviate the suffering of the returnees to enable them live a better life,’’ Farouq said.

She assured the returnees that the present government was determined to improve on the welfare of its citizens, and the IDPs would not be left out.

The commissioner said that government would do its best to ensure that the returnees get relief materials and the children get education as leaders of tomorrow.

She commended the communities that have been accommodating the internally displaced persons since they returned from Cross River in 2008.

“We really have to appreciate the efforts of these communities, especially their village heads for the hospitality and umbrella of love to their fellow human beings,” she said.



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