Governor Otu Assures  UNHCR Of  Refugee's Safety

Jun 20, 2024 - 11:44
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Governor Otu Assures  UNHCR Of  Refugee's Safety

By Ekanem Asuquo

Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River has assured the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR that his administration will go the extra mile in creating an enabling environment for the safety and well-being of refugees domiciled in the state.

Governor Otu gave the assurance when he hosted the country representative of the UNHCR   Arjun Jain, during  a courtesy visit,

 The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey said: " Already we have a robust synergy with the UNHCR. We are disposed to upscaling the tempo of this collaboration for the well-being of our brothers and sisters living in our midst arising from the conflict across our borders"

" It is delightful to observe that most of the refugees have since integrated and blended effectively due to our age-long hospitable disposition, rich ancestral and cultural affinities"

 He commended the Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency, Apostle James Anam, for his proactive approach in managing the various refugee camps across the state which he noted has guaranteed peaceful coexistence within the host communities while strengthening the existing bond between Nigeria and the Cameroon government.

 Earlier,  the Country Representative of UNCHR, Arjun Jain expressed appreciation to the Cross River State Government for hosting  60% of all Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria. 

Jain commended the state for incorporating refugees into its social safety net programme,  enabling them to benefit from various state capacity-building initiatives designed for vulnerable populations. 

" We are impressed by the humanitarian posture exhibited by the government and people of Cross River state towards the refugees. This gesture has enabled them to work and move freely within Cross River, fostering a sense of independence and dignity among the refugee community"

 He expressed the UNHCR’s gratitude for these positive policies while pledging that the UNHCR will continue to work towards the peaceful coexistence of refugees and host communities.

He disclosed that the  visit was designed as  part of the UNHCR’s efforts to sensitize the public and raise awareness on  the significance of World Refugee Day celebrated globally on June 20 and intended to 
 underscore the critical role that local governments play in the global refugee response.

" This is also to reaffirms the UNHCR’s commitment to supporting both refugees and host communities. As we mark World Refugee Day, this collaboration sets a hopeful tone for continued support and integration of refugees in Cross River State"