Malam Hussaini Hassan, a Nigerian refugee from Borno, claims Cameroon gendarmes forced Nigerian refugees to leave the Futokol refugee camp.
Hassan who spoke on behalf of the Nigerian refugees recently evacuated to Nigeria, told Pulse news that they had fled Nigeria to Cameroon when Boko Haram terrorists attacked their villages and had remained in the country since then.
“Since we put our legs into Nigeria, we breathed air of freedom and sense of belonging because the way and manner Nigerian security, NEMA among others, received us at the border; we feel we are safe and at home,’’ Hassan said.
He claimed that thousands of Nigerians were still stranded in camps in Cameroon.
Meanwhile the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said on Thursday, May 25 that they have evacuated 270 Nigerian refugees who returned from Cameroon to Nigeria.
“The refugees after thorough investigation left Cameroon to Nigeria without any official notification from Cameroon Government.” “Majority of them are women and children and are indigenes of Gamboru Ngala in Borno,’’ Bello, an official from the agency said.
He said that the army provided security for the evacuation of the refugees, adding that they would be handed over to the Borno Government.
Bello said that they had been in Mubi since April after they were received by NEMA and security officials at Sahuda, a border village in Nigeria.
It should be recalled that Cameroonian authorities have denied all claims of forceful refugee repatriation. Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s government spokesman, had even criticised the United Nations for making derogatory statements which undermine the image of the country in a press conference.