By George Odok
The Cross River government on Sunday provided food and non-food items to over 3,000 Southern Cameroonian refugees camping in Ikom local government area of the state.
The items included rice, plantain, beans, yam, garri, palm oil, cartons of indomie, toiletries and cooking utensils.
Presenting the items, Gov. Ben Ayade of the state disclosed that the intervention was to give succour for the hardship and displacement experienced by the refugees.
Ayade, who was represented by Dr Mercy Akpama, the Managing Director, Cross River Food Bank Commission, said that his administration places premium on the welfare of residents in the state.
“I am aware of your pains and I am not relenting in my contacts with President Muhammadu Buhari and the international community to know that what is happening to you is not good before God and humanity.
“There is no greater pain like depriving a people of their ancestral homes and reducing them to wants in body and soul.
“This passion has led me to bring food to you and soon I will build camps for you while waiting for my contacts to come to fruition in a bid to see you return to your ancestral homes.
“I love you all and urge you to stay in peace with your hosts. Remain patriotic and obey the laws of the land.
“I urge you to share these items in love for your suffering will not be for too long,’’ he said.
Mr John Inaku, Director General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, told the refugees that the state governor was passionate about their plight.
“We have your brothers and sisters in other locations as well, these items are for those of you in Ikom and I can assure you that the governor will also reach others soon,’’ he said.
Inaku explained that drugs would also be provided soon to take care of the health needs of the refugees.
“The governor will come with more things for you. Be law abiding; you are our brothers and sisters and we love you all,’’ he said.
Mr Abia David, Coordinator, Southern Cameroon refugees, lauded the government and people of the state for their concern, noting that the gesture was a sign of true love.
“A drop of water to a man who is very thirsty is a welcome development. We are appreciative of this gesture by Cross River state governor and it is a sign that he cares about our wellbeing,’’ he said.