The National Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday said that it had received over 3,000 Nigerians deported from Niger.
The agency also disclosed that by the end of the day (Wednesday), it would have taken custody of over 6,000 Nigerians deported from Niger.
This was disclosed by the agency’s Director of Search and Rescue, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade.
He said, “We just received communication from Nigerien government that another set of 3,000 persons are being sent to us.
“We will be going to the border post to take custody of the people.”
He said they were not ruling out the fact that the figure might grow beyond 6,000.
He said, “Before we came here, the information we received from Niger is that about 2,000 Nigerians would be delivered to us, but now see what we have on the ground.”
“We are going to remain in Geidam for as long as it takes to evacuate the people back to their respective states. Geidam is acting as a transit town and we have two camps: one at the stadium and the other at a primary school in town.”
Otegbade also revealed that the returnees were from 10 states, including Taraba, Adamawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Benue, Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi and Kano.
He said arrangements had been made to move them to their respective states. He said that already, contact had been made with the affected states emergency management agencies.
He said that most of those that had arrived were without any health issue.
Otegbade however said three pregnant women in the first batch complained about minor health challenges and were taken to health facilities in Geidam.
According to him, they left Nigeria for Niger to catch fishes on the islands of the country.
Some of the deportees who spoke to our correspondent claimed that they were treated harshly by the Nigerien military.
One of them, Daniel Abba, said they had to trek a long distance before they could get transport to Nigeria.
Another deportee, a pregnant woman, Fatima Ali, said during the trek, four pregnant women died.
She said that there were many Nigerians who would have loved to come back home but that they were trapped in the area.