The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that thousands of Nigerians forced by Boko Haram fighters to flee abroad from their homes in the North-east have begun to return home.
The agency, in a report issued, said no less than 29,581 of the documented 240,000 Nigerian refugees who had fled into Cameroon, Chad and Niger are back in the country.
The report is coming few months after news had earlier hinted that the authorities of Cameroon were planning to repatriate at least 56,000 Nigerian refugees – a report the Nigerian government dismissed in entirety, saying it had never endorsed the planned repatriation.
However, Premium Times quoted the report as saying that most of the refugees were being received back in IDP camps where officials of the concerned north-east states joined other aid agencies to provide them with humanitarian relief supports.
“Some of the Nigerians that fled to neighbouring countries (Niger, Chad and Cameroon) were provided with humanitarian relief support by Nigeria through NEMA to alleviate their suffering”, the report said.
“The displaced Nigerians have also received humanitarian supports from the host governments, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the host communities and Nigerian citizens living in the three host countries.
“There are presently 20,804 displaced Nigerians living in Chad, 80,709 in Cameroon and 138,321 in Niger”, the report stated.
It was also learnt that nearly 240,000 documented Nigerians are still trapped in Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic, waiting for help to return home.