by crossriverwatch admin
As the window of opportunity to appeal against the International Court of Justice, ICJ, ruling that ceded Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon expires tomorrow, October 10, 2012, the Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on legislative matters, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa has asked the federal government not to ‘waste’ money for appeal instead use the money to resettle the displaced Bakassi people at Day Spring Island.
Meanwhile, President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, Dr. Nasir Isa has said that Nigeria made a mistake in handling the matter and that the federal government also made a great mistake by committing herself to hand over Bakassi to Cameroon, adding that children in Bakassi have the right to decide where to belong.
Senator Ita-Giwa who gave her advice in a rally yesterday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital saying that Nigeria lost Bakassi to Cameroon the first time ten years ago and finally four years ago when the final hand over was done at the government lodge, Calabar.
She said that if there were things to be done to review the matter, it should have been done four or five years ago, adding that though Nigerians had shown great interest in the Bakassi issue belatedly, the displaced Bakassi indigenes were not counting down anything, rather were calling for their resettlement at Day Spring Island.
According to her, “Today we are still displaced people and displaced people are worse than refugees. For ten years after the judgment, we have cried, nobody listened to us. Today, we are surprise that two days to the expiration people have gone to court. We appreciate efforts of Cross River State Government, but what we want is shelter.
“Many well meaning Nigerians, organizations and groups have severely advocated for the revisit of the ICJ judgment. Quite recently, the National Assembly had even passed a resolution asking the federal government to appeal the judgment.
“We equally remember that two members of the National Assembly representing Cross River State, namely; Rt. Hon. Essien Ayi and Sen. Prince Bassey Otu, had at different times moved relating motions on the floor of the National Assembly sometimes in 2006.
“As we speak all these efforts seem to be in futility. While acknowledging these efforts by these spirited Nigerians and the press, for bringing the plight of the Bakassi people to the front burner, we wish this issue of ICJ revisit had come much earlier.
She said most of the people parading themselves of representatives of the Bakassi people had not been to Bakassi to feel the plight of the displaced and do not have anything in the place and that in Ikang where it was claimed was the new Bakassi settlement, no single Bakassi indigene was there as she claimed they had gone to fend for themselves.
On the allegation that about N6 billion was appropriated for the resettlement of Bakassi people and that she was the Chairman of the Resettlement Committee, she said that the committee was set up after the Ikang resettlement camp had been built and completed and that the committee which said was an advisory one on how to properly resettle the people was not given any money.
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