The Deputy Representative, United Nation High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR), Abuja, Mr John McKissick has stated that Taraba state has been rated the largest host refugees in Nigeria.
He stated this when the team visited the secretary to the state government in his office in Jalingo.
The Deputy Representative said the team have visited most West African countries especially Cameroon and now they are in Nigeria to access the needed assistance in regards to protection of refugees in Taraba state and to also know whether the refugees needed to stay in a community or be relocated.
He said the team will like to visit most of the refugee camps within the state and at the borders to help bring lasting solution to problems affecting refugees in the state.
Responding, the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Anthony Jellason said the state government is witnessing endless influx of amazonian refugees in the camps, adding that they only show up when materials are being distributed, describing the situation as unfortunate.
Mr. Jellason lamented that some of them have become security threats to their host communities and threatened Nigerians at the border among other criminal activities.
He commended the UNHCR for the visit to the state, assuring them of the government’s support to bring lasting solution to the problems raised.
Speaking during the interactive session with critical stake holders at the Bureau for local government and chieftaincy affiars conference hall, the Deputy Director Disaster Management from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Service, Abubakar Suleiman said the exercise is to enable the Federal Government and its Humanitarian partner, in collaboration with the state government obtain first-hand information on the humanitarian situation created by the influx of asylum seekers from Cameroon with a view to providing possible solution through burden sharing mechanism.
Abubakar noted that suffice it to state that the Federal Government of Nigeria is mindful of challenges and tensions always associated with hosting asylum seekers and refugees globally especially in the immediate host communities and Nigeria’s experience is not different particularly in Taraba state.
It is to this end that the FMHADMSD led the multisectoral team to the state to carry out needs assessment of the possible humanitarian situations caused by the influx of refugees from Cameroon into Nigeria through the national border corridors of Taraba States.
He added that another very important phase was to hold a stakeholders interactive meeting with relevant State Government MDAs and non-governmental organizations to sensitize them on the roadmap for the operationalization of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).
Highlights of the visit event was an interactive session with critical stake holders in the state.
– By Yusuf Salihu Sansani, Jalingo.