Contrary to report in a section of the media that about 6,000 Nigerians have crossed the border into the Republic of Niger because of military operations in Borno, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said only 126 persons actually fled.
A statement by the Director General of NEMA, Sani Sidi on Tuesday insisted that so far, about 2,367 have fled, saying that 126 of them are Nigerians while others are Nigerien that returned home because of the situation in northern Nigeria.
The statement reads, “We want to state categorically that from information available to us; about 2,367 persons have crossed the border from Kashagar, Baga and Kuros communities all in Borno State to Diffa in the Republic of Niger. Out of this figure 126 are Nigerians while the remaining are citizens of the Republic of Niger who have returned home due to the ongoing crises in the North East.
“We also wish to add that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Nigerian Embassy in Niamey have already registered the 126 number of the displaced Nigerians that have crossed into the Republic of Niger with a view to providing them with necessary humanitarian supports.
“Therefore, the report that 6000 Nigerians have fled the country into the Republic of Niger is unfounded and not true. We wish to therefore, call on the media and concerned Nigerians to direct all further inquiries on the matter to NEMA for clarification.
“I wish to further reiterate that in the spirit of the mutual cooperation between NEMA and the media, the doors of the Agency are always open for enquires on humanitarian issues affecting the country. In conclusion, let me add that the media and members of the public should avoid unnecessary speculations on matters of national interest”.