Boko Haram: Nigerian Government welcome home Adamawa citizens who fled to Cameroon

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The Federal Government and Government of Adamawa State have received the first batch of Adamawa citizens returning from Cameroon after years of residing in that country following Boko Haram insurgency attacks that forced them out of the state.

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The 133 men, women and children in the first batch came in a military aircraft, which arrived the Yola International Airport at 5.05 pm on Thursday.

The 133, who were among 4,000 Adamawa citizens expected to return from Cameroon in the near future, were immediately driven to a reception camp opened for them within the precincts of the Yola airport where they are expected to spend the next few days while issues regarding their final resettlement to their family homes are sorted out.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiq Umar Faruk, who flew into Yola and received the returnees on behalf of the Federal Government, said the airlift of the 133 is just the first in a series of flights to bring all willing returnees.

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“We are receiving our nationals home after so many years away from the country as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency. We have just had the first flight of the returnees,” the minister said.

Responding specifically to the question of why only 133 would return out of expected 4,000 Adamawa citizens long said to be willing to return, the minister said, “We have to start with a number. This is the first phase of what will be a continuous process.”

She added, however, that the decision to return is a voluntary one on the part of the Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, and Adamawa people whose government has expressed readiness to receive them would be brought back as they indicate the willingness to return.

Also, speaking, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) who represented Governor Ahmadu Fintiri in the reception for the returnees, said the returnees would be well taken care of and duly reunited with their families in due course.