The Adamawa and Borno State Governments have on Monday began discussion with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refuges and other stakeholders on the evacuation of about 90,000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon.
The refugees, mostly from Borno State, were displaced by insurgency six years ago.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the meeting in Yola on Monday, the Adamawa State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mallam Ahmad Sajoh, said plan for the evacuation has reached advanced stage.
Sajoh also said necessary arrangements had been made by the Adamawa State Government to receive the refugees who would pass through Adamawa transit camp from Minawawo camp in Cameroon.
He said about 4,000 of the refugees were from Adamawa State.
Sajoh added that agreement had been reached with some communities in Adamawa State to host about 1,500 refugees from Borno State, who have indicated that they would want to remain in the state.
Sajoh, who did not give the exact date for the commencement of the evacuation, said the refugees would be airlifted by the Nigerian Air Force.
Speaking at the meeting, the representative of the Borno State Government, Alhaji Kullima Kachalla, lauded the Adamawa State Government for its hospitality to the displaced persons from Borno State since the insurgency started.
Kachalla reiterated the commitment of the Borno State Government to ensure the success of the evacuation exercise.
In her remarks, Head of UNHCR sub office in Marwa, Cameroon, Mylene Ahounou, said: “The commission is waiting for final authorisation from the central government of Cameroon to embark on the exercise.
“We urged the Nigerian Government to also reach out to Cameroon to facilitate action.”
In his remarks, a representative of the refugees, Mallam Ashigar Mohammed, said they were eager to return home and thanked the governments of Nigeria, Cameroon and UNHCR for the concern shown to their plight.
In his speech, Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Martin Babale, who is also the chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, commended Cameroon for its hospitality.
“Adamawa is prepared to serve as a transit camp for the refugees,” Babale assured.