Categories: InternationalOn the Go

Senate summons defence minister over Cameroonian troops’ ‘incursion’ into Nigeria

Dyepkazah Shibayan

The senate has summoned Mansur Dan-Ali, minister of defence, over the alleged incursion of the Cameroonian army into Nigeria.

The resolution of the senate was sequel to a motion sponsored by John Enoh, senator representing Cross River central, and two other lawmakers.

Enoh said on January 25, more than 80 Cameroonian soldiers allegedly crossed the border of the Danare-Daddi/Danare-Bodom axis and abducted five people.

The senator described the act as “an outright defiance of [the] Nigerian territorial sovereignty”.

He said: “This is a calculated assault from the Cameroonian military on Nigeria and an outright defiance of Nigeria territorial sovereignty, not minding the consequences of crossing the international boundary to carry out intimidations and harassment on the already alarmed citizens of Danare, with warnings of further assault.”

Enoh also expressed worry over the influx of refugees from southern Cameroon into the country.

“The current agitation has caused influx of refugees to some border communities in Cross River state and over six thousand of the refugees are currently squatting at Obanliku, Boki, Etung and Ikom local government areas of the state,” he said.

“[We are] worried about the precarious situation of women and children, which make up about 80 percent of the approximately ten thousand registered refugees and of these persons are boys and girls who fled to Nigeria unaccompanied and separated children from their parents and are therefore vulnerable.

“The lack of work for women combined with the overstretched reception facilities create a higher risk for prostitution, sexual and gender-based violence.

“Some school buildings now serve as temporary refugee camps which are uninhabitable, and families that make use of them are deprived of private space and the right to family dignity.

“Most of the refugees are ill and lack basic needs while some are expectant mothers without medical care. Some of them are currently accommodated by members of these border communities with some households taking care of about twenty refugees with their facilities overstretched.”

The upper legislative chamber urged Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, to liaise with his Cameroonian counterpart to secure the release of these innocent Nigerians.

In addition, the senators urged the international community to wade into the crisis in Cameroon and find a solution to it.

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