By Femi Bolaji- Jalingo
No fewer than 4000 refugees from Southern Cameroon have invaded border communities in Kurmi and Ussa local government areas of Taraba state.
The refugees mostly women and Children fled their home country following escalation of hostilities between the Francophone and Anglophone communities, over agitation for the independence of Southern Cameroon.
Vanguard who visited the two LGAs discovered host communities are groaning due to increasing numbers of refugees, thus paving way for a possible humanitarian crises in the area.
Speaking to Vanguard, one of the refugee, Polycarp Ande who fled from Furawa Sub-division into Fikyu village alleged that Cameroonian soldiers led the ethnic cleansing of their people.
According to him, hunger, elusive health care, lack of shelter and idleness were major challenges, which he noted has in turn had ripple effect on their host community, who are predominantly low scale farmers.
He explained that the villagers and churches has been feeding them, and expressed worry over their increasing numbers amidst meagre resources.
“Some of our brothers who went back to see how the situation was in our villages keep running back as the onslaught is still going on.
” As at last Saturday, over 15 of our people came into Kpambo-piri in Ussa and more people keep coming into Nigeria every week.
“Our children are the most affected because they can’t go to school and we want the government of Nigeria and the world to come to our aid.”
Village head of Mubi-Toso, Yakubu Akama and his counterpart in Fikyu village, Ukwe Ezra in their seperate submission expressed concern over possible invasion of their terrain by the attackers.
The duo further appealed to the federal government for adequate security and provision of relief materials to salvage the plight of the refugees.
It’s overwhelming, we need help – Council Boss
The Chairman of Ussa local government area, Rimamsikwe Hassan on his part lamented that the massive influx of Camerounians into some communities in the council is overwhelming.
He said “the refugees have moved into Kpambo- piri, Jatau, Kanpiya and Fikyu village, with Fikyu having the least number of 250 refugees including children as at last count.
According to him, “when they (refugees) first moved in, the Red cross visited some of the villages to take statistics and promised to come back, but ever since they have not returned.
“We have equally written to the National Refugees Commission but yet to get a reply from them.
“However, the state government through SEMA brought relief materials for the victims, but we also want the Federal government to come in and liaise with the Camerounian authorities.”