The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a memo by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for a standard operation procedure for maintaining the civilian and humanitarian character of asylum seekers from Cameroon.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this was to guard against the possibility of granting asylum to insurgents from Cameroon.
He said: “You all know that due to the insurgency in Cameroon, Nigeria has witnessed an influx of Cameroonian asylum seekers and there’s basic standard procedures for you to be granted status as an asylum seeker.”
He said anybody from Cameroon seeking asylum in Nigeria must first convince the authorities that he/she has actually renounced armed struggle before he/she can be considered as an asylum seeker.
“Also there are cases of some of them who have come even when they claim to have surrendered their arms, go back at times, to join the separatist movement in Cameroon.”
“So, all we’ve done today is to establish the standard procedure to ensure those claiming to be asylum seekers are actually not insurgents themselves that have come to destabilize Nigeria or people who will come and be launching attacks against their own country from the comfort of Nigeria.”