About 20 Nigerians who are students in Cameroon and have been stranded over the closure of the Cameroonian borders have finally been able to return to school.
The Cameroon government had closed its borders with Nigeria over the agitation by the English-speaking part of the country to secede and create an Anglophone nation.
In the wake of the crisis many Nigerians who are students in the English speaking part of the country had fled to escape being cut in the crossfire. The closure of the border led to their being marooned at home while school was in progress.
However, during a stakeholders’ meeting for border communities organised by the United Nations Office for Drug and Crime (UNODC) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), some of the students were able to return to school following the intervention of officials of the NIS.
The students had complained to the stakeholders about their plight and had been promised by the NIS that their case would be tabled before the Cameroonian authorities.
They had complained that the immigration officials on the side of Cameroun were usually hostile to them because they (students) are English speakers and are viewed as supporting the agitation of those clamouring for the breakup of the country.
At the Nigeria-Cameroon border post in Mfum, Cross River State, some of the students who were in distressed mood lamented that their future were being toyed with even after they had presented all their documents to the authorities.
For instance, a medical laboratory science student at Bamenda University of Science and Technology, Fanus Ahmadu, said they are usually treated with disdain.
Another student of the university, Charles Gang, added that some of the officers usually feign lack of ability to speak English, thereby making room for no communication for both parties.
On her part, Rhoda Tanko said the treatment meted out to them is like they are not human, as they could be kept waiting for three hours for failing to part with some cash for the officers.
According to her, Cameroonians are placed on a queue different from that of Nigerians and it is only after completing the checks and screening on Cameroonians that Nigerians are then attended to.
The students accused the Cameroonian Police and Immigration of extorting money from them, before they could access their school. He said after having stayed at home for a year due to the crisis in the country, their school announced resumption recently.