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We will treat repatriation of Nigerian refugees as emergency – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the safe return of Nigerians displaced by the insurgency in the North-East from Cameroon, Niger and Chad will be treated…

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the safe return of Nigerians displaced by the insurgency in the North-East from Cameroon, Niger and Chad will be treated as an emergency assignment.

He said this yesterday at the first meeting of the Presidential Committee on the Repatriation, Returns and Resettlement of Displaced Persons in the North East. 

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President Muhammadu Buhari had inaugurated the committee with the vice president as Chairman and Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State as vice chairman by on February 2.

The meeting presided over by Osinbajo was attended by Zulum; his counterpart from Gombe State, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya; the deputy governor of Yobe State, Idi Gubana and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, among others. 

Osinbajo urged members to carry out the assignment with every sense of urgency, saying Buhari wanted a committee with wide representation in order to be inclusive, and to be able to deliver, taking to account all the issues.

He said: “We simply don’t have the time to get into too much bureaucracy so that we are able to deliver on all of the issues.”

Osinbajo said efforts to facilitate the return of displaced persons to their communities must continue unhindered.

He said, “We should immediately do whatever it takes to commence the process of repatriating our people back home…There’s no reason why we cannot return our citizens to their homes.”

He also directed the secretariat to commence work on constituting three technical working groups on the work plan, repatriation exercise and rehabilitation of repentant Boko Haram fighters.

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