RICHARD NDOMA, Calabar
Two non governmental organisations, (NGOs) operating in Nigeria under the aegis of Community Refugee Relief Initiative (CRRI) and The Fomunyoh Foundation (TFF) have lauded the federal government and Nigerians for the hospitality shown to Cameroonian refugees who now live in the country.
The NGOs described the hospitality as a gesture which should be emulated by other neighbouring nations that share common border with the Republic of Cameroon.
Findings by LEADERSHIP correspondent revealed that there are about 80,000 Cameroonians taking refuge in almost six states of Nigeria including Cross River, Taraba ,Benue, Akwa Ibom, and Borno among others.
In a brief discussion with our correspondent on the issue in Calabar at the weekend, shortly after completing a tour and distribution of food items worth millions of naira to refugees’ camps across the six geopolitical zones in the country, and Cross River State in particular, president /founder TFF, Christopher Fomunyouh and chairman, Dr Celestine Atangcho, lauded Nigerians for the show of love to Cameroonians taking refuge in Nigeria.
The NGOs expressed appreciation for the show of love and kindness especially in moments when the Cameroonian refugees needed brotherly shoulder to learn on.
He said, “We want to put in a word of appreciation and thanks, genuine, sincere gratitude to the people of Nigeria, to the ordinary citizens of Nigeria for what they are doing to the Cameroonian refugees, for having open their hearts and their minds and their houses and their neighbourhoods to Cameroonian refugees.
“We have been very touched by that and I see the love that Nigerians show towards these refugees. It’s remarkable; it’s truly brotherly love.
“We want to thank the authorities of the states that are harbouring the refugees, notably, Cross River State, Akwa Ibom State, Benue State, Taraba State and all of the other states in which there may be a couple of refugees, including the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, there’s a refugee camp settlement in Abuja,” Fomunyouh maintained.
On his part Dr Atangcho lauded the Federal Government of Nigeria for the attention it is paying to refugees during this period.
“We really appreciate the government of Nigeria for their attention during this crisis and for the appeals they’ve continued to make for the international communities to address the root causes of the conflict, to bring the conflict to an end so that these refugees can return to their homes.
“It is a strong reminder that as Africans, we have to look out for each other because we’re each other’s keeper. I have been so touched by that and I want to use this opportunity to sincerely thank them for what they’re doing, it’s been noticed, it’s being appreciated at all levels and we remain very grateful and I think that people will always be grateful for that,” he said.