Daji Sani in Yola
The Federal Government has commenced steps to receive over 80,000 Nigerians displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency from Cameroon. The location where the refugees will be resettled in Adamawa State has already been identified and inspected.
The proposed location is the permanent site of the Adamawa State Polytechnic which has been abandoned for over two decades. The site is situated at Konawaya village, a suburb of the state capital, Yola. Efforts are being made at rebuilding it, and making it conducive enough to accommodate the expected returnees.
This was revealed in Yola yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Policy, Development and Analysis, Ibrahim Bapetel, who represented the Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir David Lawal.
Bapetel urged the various stakeholders to prepare a comprehensive needs report for onward transmission to the Federal Government, adding that due to government’s concern over the plight of the refugees, he was optimistic that the needs report will be treated with the urgency it deserves.
Bapetel noted that the number of refugees is significant and urged International donors to also come to the assistance of the Federal Government in addressing the myriad challenges that will be encountered in handling them.
The Adamawa State government also called on international donor agencies as well as the Federal Government to come to the rescue of the state, explaining that the state government cannot single-handedly shoulder the responsibilities of catering to the expected returnees.
The call came through the state’s commissioner for information, Comrade Ahmed Sajoh, when he – alongside the Federal Government delegation – visited the proposed site. Sajoh said help was needed considering the number of refugees and the state of the proposed camp which he said needs complete rehabilitation.
He revealed that fencing the facility alone will cost the state enormous funds, let alone providing other basic infrastructure. According to Sajoh, the state government has serious financial constraints, especially because of the cash crunch facing the country.
Sajoh added that the state government has already constituted a committee which will liaise with relevant stakeholders to see how best to tackle the issue, including profiling of all refugees in order to ensure watertight security around the facility.