The state of emergency declared in the North-Eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa by President Goodluck Jonathan has forced about 1,500 refugees into the northern part of Cameroon, Nigeria’s ambassador to that country has said.
Speaking with newsmen on Presidential delegation to the summit on Regional Security in Yaounde, Cameroun, the Nigerian Ambassador to Cameroon, Ambassador Hadiza Mustapha, said the figure which had been confirmed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees was no where near the 3,000 reported in the media.
According to him, the bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and Cameroun in the areas of security has checked activities of Boko Haram terrorists.
According to the envoy, the Cameroonian government has granted the refugees unlimited stay until the situation normalises in their respective states.
Mustapha said: “There is a saying that you cannot choose your neighbours but you share both the good and the bad with your neighbours. It is true that we have seen not only with the Boko Haram insurgency but with the declaration of State of Emergency, a few refugees who have come into the Cameroon.
“This is what happens, as long as you cannot choose your neigbour but you can choose how you live with your neigbour, that is why peace is very important. And since I have been here 10 months and we have put the Bakassi issue behind us, there has been a lot of improvement in our relationship. And with that improvement and with that peace, a lot of cooperation is now possible.
”In the area of terrorism, there is a lot of cooperation between our security agencies and that of the Cameroonian in terms of exchange of information even in joint operations. They have also given us quite a lot of support, sometimes we have even had exchange of suspected persons.
“Like you rightly noted, this is possible because of the peace that now exist between us. A lot of things is possible because both countries security agencies are co-operating very well”.