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Returning Anambra indigenes narrate experience in CAR

By The Citizen
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Hundreds of Anambra citizens evacuated from the crisis-ridden Central African Republic by the Federal Government on Tuesday in Awka narrated their experience.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, who visited the camp site of the returnees at J.JUMAC Hotels and Towers, Awka, reports that most of them arrived home from Bangui with nothing.

Mr Bejamin Ogbuka, 33, from Awuda-Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state sustained leg and arm injuries in Bangui.

He described his experience as an ugly one.
Ogbuka said that he left Nigeria for 'greener pasture' in CAR in 2001 after serving under his master in Cameroun.

He described what he experienced in the last few months in Bangui as a big lesson to him.

'I lost everything including my international passport, luggage and about N880, 000 equivalents at the Bangui Airport, while waiting for Nigerian government to evacuate us,'' he said.

Mrs Cynthia Okoha, a native of the crisis-ridden country, but married to a man from Ihilala in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra, said that she would never forget the experience.

She came with a four-month old baby and two other children.

Okoha said that she had no option than to leave Bangui for Nigeria with her husband and children.

Mr Paul Ejiofor, from Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area, also came back with his wife, Nadege and four children.

He said that he lost his house and other belongings in Bangui, adding that he 'will try to have faith in God''.

Ejiofor said that he would not allow his family to go back to the country even after the war had ended.

He commended the Anambra government for the assistance so far rendered to them since their arrival in Nigeria.

Dr Nwabufo Ijezie, the Executive Secretary of the Anambra Emergency Management Agency (ASEMA) said SEMA had received 149 out of 211 returnees already in the country with other Nigerian nationals.

He said that they were transported to Awka in batches from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja where  they were camped on arrival.

According to him, 68 of them were received on Jan. 5, while 81 were received on Jan. 6 and the rest were still being expected.

Ijezie said that the returnees included children, nursing mothers, pregnant women and men, stressing that the state government had begun biometric data capturing to adequately provide for them.

He said that the state government had also provided accommodation, feeding and medi-care for those that arrived safely.

Ijezie said that the chairmen of various local government areas of the state had already taken home their people to unite them with their families.

NAN reports that Central African Republic has been marred by violence following a Muslim-led coup in the predominantly Christian country.

This had resulted in uncontrollable violence and struggle for power by the contending militias. NAN