- Imo returnees from South Africa recently met with their governor, Emeka Ihedioha
- The governor has already set up an inter-ministerial committee to map out strategies for the resettlement
- The move is part of plans by the Imo government to reintegrate and resettle the indigenes in the state
Imo state governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has set up an inter-ministerial committee to map out strategies for the resettlement of Imo returnees from South Africa, as a result of the latest xenophobic attacks.
The move is part of plans by the Imo government to reintegrate and resettle the indigenes in the state.
Speaking during the reception of the returnees at the Government House, Owerri, Wednesday, October 2, Governor Ihedioha, thanked God for saving their lives despite the casualties recorded during the attack.
He reminded them that this is a period for soul searching, saying, “We understand clearly the import of this incident. What the displacement has given rise to, is that you have to start afresh, begin to adjust either to start a new life or otherwise.”
He noted that a desk has been set up to articulate an implementable plan that will guarantee a sustainable livelihood for them.
He disclosed that the inter-ministerial committee will be headed by his special adviser on diaspora affairs, Professor Chudi Uwazuruike.
Representatives of the ministries of youths; labour; education; health and ministry of gender and vulnerable group affairs, will be involved to work out how to help them resettle.
The governor noted that the state is doing its best to link up with the federal government to ensure that special attention is given to Imo returnees, as the state has fulfilled all the requirements needed by the diaspora commission.
While thanking the management of Air Peace for their patriotic act of bringing home Nigerians at no cost, he commended the Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna for providing succor which has greatly strengthened the returnees since they arrived the state.
Appreciating the governor, on behalf of the returnees, Mr Uche Edih thanked Ihedioha for his prompt response and fatherly concern, promising that they will put into good use, any assistance offered by the state to them.
Meanwhile, the federal government through the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has disclosed that another 400 Nigerians in South Africa have indicated interest in returning home.
The commission’s spokesman, Abdulrahman Balogun made this disclosure when he led 32 Nigerian returnees of Oyo state origin to the state governor’s office, Ibadan, on Wednesday, October 2.
He, however, noted that the decision of those Nigerians to return home or stay back may be influenced by the outcome of the scheduled meeting between the Nigerian government and the South African authorities.
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