Akpan Etukudo Asare
Nigeria has sent large quantities of food items to the 2000 Cameroonian refugees presently accommodated in parts of Cross River State, including communities of Okwangwo, Butatong and Okwa in Boki local government area of the state.
Managing Director of the state food bank commission, Mrs. Mercy Akpama made the presentation at Butatong primary school on behalf of the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade.
Described as the largest ever donation to the refugees in recent times since they arrived Nigeria about a year ago, the materials included bags of rice, beans, cartons of noodles, salt, sugar, and gallons of cooking oil were distributed.
Speaking before the donation, Akpama said it was a true manifestation of the passion the Nigerian government has for the displaced people of Cameroon.
She said that the magnanimity was a mere tip of the iceberg considering the interest of Nigeria to make the refugees comfortable.
Also speaking, the head of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), John Inaku said that government was aware of the socio-economic trauma of the refugees.
He commended the host communities for accommodating the displaced people saying that Governor Ayade had noted their generosity and was optimistic that such communities would be rewarded.
Mr. Inaku charged the host communities not to relent in the hospitable manner in which the refugees and asylum seekers were being accorded and advised the refugees to reciprocate by respecting the laws of their hosts.
Speaking to journalists, one of the refugees, James Osor expressed gratitude to Nigeria government for the gesture and prayed God for more blessings on the governor and his cabinet.