By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
Mr. Hilary Agida, an official of the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), who raised the alarm, disclosed that over ten thousand refugees have taken over the two refugee camps. He feared that there could be breakdown of infrastructures any moment as the number was gradually outgrowing the infrastructure on ground.
Speaking while receiving members of a socio-cultural organisation, National Association of Sea Dogs, which visited the camp to donate food items to the refugees, Agida lamented that after the influx had over stretched the facilities in the first camp, additional camp was created to accommodate more persons, but that the new one has also been taken over fully by refugees, who were arriving the camp in their numbers daily.
He said the situation was too much for the state government alone to handle. According to him, “There are two refugee camps here in Ogoja, one is in Adagom and the other at Akpakpanga and both camps have been witnessing steady influx of refugees which has effectively overstretched the facilities. Something must be done to address the situation before we witness a disaster here.”
The SEMA official disclosed that the refugee camps were under the supervision of the United Nations, which he said registers refugees to ascertain the number of people displaced by the violence in Southern Cameroon and, therefore, called on the world body and the federal government to do something about the situation urgently. He explained that the fight between those agitating for independence for the southern part of that country and security agencies started in 2017.
Donating food items to the refugees, the zonal president of the National Association of Sea Dogs, Prince Joseph Besong, said the donation of bags of rice; tubers of yams, garri and toiletries were to assist in the upkeep of the refugees.
“These people are living without any source of income and we feel it is necessary that we should extend some assistance to them by providing them with some food items and provisions for their children,” he said; and called on the United Nations to assist in the speedy resolution of the conflict in the country, so that the refugees could return to their homes.