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Concern as Kebbi State disowns refugees from Niger

11 May 2015, 08:00Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it regretted the move by the Kebbi State Government to disown some refugees deported from neighbouring Niger.

It was reported the government had disowned the returnees fearing they could be members of the Boko Haram sect.

Thickman Tanimu, Assistant Head of the Sokoto Zonal Operations Office of the NEMA, described the governor's action as regrettable.

Tanimu said the governor was quoted as saying that the deportees were not indigenes of the state and may be insurgents.

"The governor had also reportedly set up a committee to screen the deportee from the state at the Sokoto camp before evacuating them," Tanimu said.

Also read: 'Boko Haram wives' taunts won't stop

Thousands of locals have fled the Boko Haram insurgency in the country and sought refuge in neighbouring Niger.

NEMA has facilitated the return of the first batch of some deportees, numbering about 400, to Sokoto and Kebbi.

About 4 000 Nigerian were recently deported from the Republic of Niger to their various states after they were asked to return home from the Lake Chad area for "security reasons."

Manzo Ezekiel, Senior Information Officer of NEMA, said most of the deportees were fishermen from Taraba, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kano, Borno, Benue and Yobe States.

"They were engaged in fishing activities around the Lake Chad but due to notice of military operations in the area by the armed forces of the Republic of Niger, they had to return home," said Ezekiel. 

- CAJ News


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