A large number of Cameroonians who took refuge in the Ogoja refugees camp in Cross River State have since deserted it.
It is suspected that the abandonment of the camp may be a result of the reported drastic reduction in their monthly stipend.
Findings by DAILY POST confirmed that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, (UNHCR), which took special care of the Cameroonian refugees, recently reduced its cash-based intervention from N7,200 per head to paltry N2,600.
On enquiries, it was discovered that refugees whose villages were not directly affected in the ongoing Cameroon arms insurrection by separatist Ambazonian fighters against President Paul Biya’s government, went back to their homes and farms.
One of the refugees who was in the camp but has now returned to one of the borderline communities, Obengo Nru said the camp is virtually empty now, claiming he could not fold his hands in the camp and receive the paltry sum.
“I still have my papers entitling me to enjoy the monthly stipend intact so that whenever the UN people call us, we just run to Ogoja and collect the sum, and return to our villages.”
“Most of us merely left the villages and joined in ‘sympathy movement’ to Nigeria”, he said.
An official of the Cameroonian Consulate in Calabar who said he is an information officer claimed he could not give any good reasons why the number was reducing.
But the Director-General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Princewill Ayim said it was not true that the camp has been deserted.