Kaduna — The National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFR) has said that about 500,000 Nigerian refugees are awaiting repatriation from Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Libya, Mali and other countries. It also said over 73,000 registered refugees from over 23 countries are residing in Nigeria.
NCFR's Federal Commissioner, Iman Suleiman Ibrahim, stated this at the 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna during the donation of electric wheelchairs and other items to the health centre.
The items were donated in collaboration with the Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA) as part of the commission's 'zero hunger' project. She said the country's acute insecurity challenges, man-made and natural disasters have increased the number of internally displaced persons to over three million within the space of just one year.
"The project is borne out of the necessity to streamline and enhance the distribution and availability of food and non-food items to address the immediate nutritional needs of all persons of concern, including officers who, in the line of duty, were inflicted with injuries.
The president of DEPOWA, Mrs. Vickie Irabor, said the gesture was to show gratitude and support to the brave and courageous soldiers, who put their lives on the line for the country.
She said, "As wives and mothers of these wounded soldiers, we have come to let you know that injuries sustained in combat speak to the nation of your sacrifice, but beyond that, they should remind you of millions of Nigerians that continue to move freely in safety because of your sacrifice.
"This has put you on the register of heroes of our great nation. We celebrate you, we thank you and also implore you to not allow these scars limit you; you are not alone as we will continue to stand by you. There is a bright future ahead of you so keep hope alive." The Acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Col. Ndidi Onuchukwu, appreciated DEPOWA for the donation and assured that the items would be properly utilised for the treatment of soldiers wounded in action.