Over thirty thousand (30, 000) Cameroonian refugees are currently camped in Cross River State.
Disclosing this to DAILY POST in an interview on Wednesday evening, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Rosemary Effiom Archibong regretted the imbroglio in Cameroons.
“You know that because of the imbroglio on the dispute that broke out in Cameroons, a lot of Cameroonians fled into, Calabar. Some came in through the Bakassi axis, some through the Ikom axis, others through Ogoja/Yala axis.
“We have a lot of them and the state government rose up to show that they are actually our brothers; we opened our doors and helped our brothers in distress. They have access to our health care facilities; they have access to our schools, etc”
She said that camping the refugees was an extra burden to the State’s lean resources but that, notwithstanding, “We extended our right hand of fellowship to them, this is what Governor Ayade keeps preaching.
The Commissioner pointed out that Governor Ben Ayade had talked about migration that affects Africans going to look for golden flees which was actually stolen from Africa, “we go cap in hand to beg. Governor Ayade demonstrated Africanism by opening the doors of the state to Cameroonian refugees that were caught in the conflict”.
Consequently, Mrs Archibong called on the Federal Government to assist the state by increasing her allocation and urged FEMA to intensify her efforts by catering for the refugees, “Our facilities have been overstretched, we call on the Federal Government that there must be a very special consideration for Cross River State.
“We are a State bounded by almost all fronts either nationally or internationally, we asked FG to increase our allocations, FEMA should look into the plight of the refugees by providing facilities, and the government should see us as a state that is really underpaid.
“It is either we are fighting with our brothers from Ebonyi State or accommodating the influx refugees from Cameroons and when the military intelligence comes up with various attack on the Niger Delta region, criminals and vandals run into Cross River.
We discover that the Cameroonian refugees are camping at Akpabuyo, Ikom, Ogoja and Calabar despite the porous boundaries in the state. (DAILY POST)