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Bakassi refugees leave ramshackle habitation, move into ultra modern estate

Rwandan refugees
After about two decades of living in despicable condition,  displaced Bakassi indigenes including widows have moved into an ultra modern housing estate comprising 52 units built by the Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade.

The displaced people had lived in  a primary school in Akpabuyo Council Area of the state before succour came their way.

Governor Ayade expressed delight at the completion of the housing scheme and subsequent delivery to the displaced persons,  adding that their suffering has always tugged at his heart.

His words :”My first tears for the people of Bakassi was when I was a senator on the floor of the Nigerian Senate which prompted me to push for a bill for the establishment of social housing and the making of provision of housing a right.

“I have a sense of fulfillment to see my sons, my aunties, my mothers and fathers who lived in a clustered accomodation in a primary school with mosquitoes feasting on them now moving into their new homes.

READ  Returnees, health workers join hands to improve psychosocial well-being in Nigeria

The governor decried  the loss of the peninsula, saying the ceding did not follow internationally prescribed process.

Ayade said : “Today is not just about the joy to the people of Bakassi, it is the supremacy of the governance of a sensitive people over the failure of the federal government to be responsible for the pain of the people of Bakassi.

The ceding of Bakassi did not follow any legal authority.It is inconsistent with the provisions of our constitution because the constitution is very clear that for you to cede any territory of Nigeria you must have a proper plebiscite.

“You must have the domestication of such ceding and ratified by the National Assembly. Until you do so whatever you have done is null and void,” he said

The governor stated that by resettling the returnees in decent houses, their misery has come to an end.

Speaking further ,he announced the donation of N50million and other economic incentives to them to enable them earn a living.

READ  Migrants wait in bread lines, while tourists dine on grilled octopus in Greece

“This is the first social housing scheme in Nigeria in absolute terms where the ownership is in perpetuity, where the property is yours to keep forever.

“But today I am going to assure you that we have acquired boats which are by the water side to enable you do fishing for those who can fish.

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  Frightened residents brace as Cyclone Eloise approaches Mozambique

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

READ  Migrants wait in bread lines, while tourists dine on grilled octopus in Greece

“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

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FG condemns killing of Nigerian footballer in UK

Kelvin

The Federal government has condemned the alleged killing of a Nigerian Footballer, Kelvin Igweani, by the UK police.

Recall that Igweani, a Nigerian Footballer, was shot dead by officers, who attended a call out to a house, where a child was found with serious injuries.

Reacting, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), in Abuja on Wednesday described the incident as very unfortunate,and sad.

Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the family of the deceased and the Nigerian communities in the UK while praying that God grants rest to the soul of the departed.

“We call on the UK government for a thorough and proper investigation to be carried out on the incident,” the statement added.

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READ  Only 189 migrants returned to Turkey despite EU refugee pact
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