17 Missing, 1900 Displaced in Gendarmes Attack On Bakassi Village
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17 Missing, 1900 Displaced in Gendarmes Attack On Bakassi Village

Senator Ita Giwa
Senator Ita Giwa
Senator Ita Giwa

by crossriverwatch admin

Seventeen people are still missing even as one thousand nine hundred refuges are camped in very squalid condition at the St. Mark Primary School, Eyo Edem in Akpabuyo local Government Area of Cross River State.

Senator Florence Ita Giwa who visited the refugee camp which has witnessed three births on Tuesday to donate relief materials said the people who were attacked by the Cameroonian Gendarmes in their village Efut Obot Ikot last month had to escape through the forest and spent several nights in the forest and eventually carried across the Akwaye Efe river to Akpabuyo where they are presently camped.

“As I speak to you now I cannot believe what the Gendarmes did to our people, so many women cannot find their husbands, many children cannot find their mothers so far we have counted seventeen people still missing.” Senator Ita Giwa said.

Bemoaning the squalid condition the people are living in the camp, Senator Giwa said the international community has not been fair to the Bakassi people who she said did not cause the situation they have found themselves but the heeding of the call by the Nigeria government which obeyed the International Court of Justice ruling that they should remain in their ancestral land.

“The Green Tree Agreement with Cameroon say that the people can remain in their native land and engage in their traditional occupation which is farming and fishing but our Cameroonian brothers have not respected that Agreement and are daily attacking and killing our people and the international community is keeping quiet”.

She said what the people need now is to be resettled in the Day Spring Island which is a barren land they have identified and are willing to continue their lives there so that the constant harassment and killing by the Cameroonian authorities would stop.

“Our people do not want to go back to Cameron but want to be resettled in the Day Spring Island and in the next two weeks something has to be done because very soon this school will resume and the people would not have where to go”.

She said she had to respond immediately to bring some relief materials to the displaced people so that the people would not fall prey to diseases as the situation in the camp was very deplorable.

“As I talk to you now there is no single drop of water for the people to drink talk much of bathing so I had to call on the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency to bring some relief materials like drugs, garri, rice, sugar, blankets and mattresses for the people to use”.

The items she donated, she said are grossly inadequate and as the over 1,900 displaced people need a lot of support and materials both food, drugs and clothing so that they can make life meaningful while they await their resettlement to the Day Spring Island.

Senator Giwa revealed that President Jonathan has been responsive to the plight of the displaced Bakassi people and has set a Committee on the plight of the Bakassi people which she is a member and the Committee has met several times and “set up subcommittee to collate reports from the people and very soon we shall meet to fine-tune the reports demographics and logistics”.

The Chairman of Bakassi LGA, Dr. Eyo Ekpo said over six hundred children were exposed to diseases and infections and called on the international community to come to the aid of the people. “When we saw the thousands of people displaced, we were bothered most particularly with the over six hundred children who could fall sick considering the poor state of living in the camp”.

Dr. Ekpo said the council had to take immediate steps to forestall deaths and outbreak of disease by supplying relief materials to the displaced people. “There is very little our effort can achieve considering the enormity of the situation. We brought in drugs, food and mattresses but that was grossly inadequate”, he said.

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