By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate yesterday summoned the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, to appear before it and explain the reason behind the invasion by large numbers of refugees from the Republic of Cameroon to some border communities in Cross River State and its attendant security fallout.
The Senate also called on the Nigerian military authorities to increase military presence and intensify border patrol within the area to prevent further acts of trespass by the Cameroun soldiers, just as it asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama to liaise with his Cameroonian counterpart to secure the release of these innocent Nigerians.
Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion by Senator John Owan Enoh, APC, Cross River Central and entitled, “Influx of Refugees from the Republic of Cameroun to some border communities in Cross River State and its attendant security fallout.”
It was co-sponsored by Senators Rose Oko, PDP, Cross River North and Gershom H. Bassey, PDP, Cross River South.
The Senate also called on Nigeria and Cameroun to strengthen the capacity of Nigeria-Cameroun trans-border security committee aimed at addressing emerging trans-border security issues confronting the two countries.
The upper chamber equally urged the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, to intensify ongoing efforts aimed at protecting Cameroonian refugees and assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement.
It similarly called all relevant agencies of government saddled with the responsibilities of managing emergencies such as National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, to intensify their remedial efforts of providing relief materials to the refugees.