by crossriverwatch admin
There was palpable tension among the leaders of Bakassi on Thursday afternoon at Ikot Effiom when the presidential Committee on the Resettlement of the Displaced Bakassi People visited the place to address the traditional rulers and the people on government plan to fully resettle them.
Mr Abba Moro, the Minister of Interior warned against the breakdown of law and order as hundreds of placard carrying protesters besieged the venue of the meeting to make various inscriptions to demand where they should be resettled. “I can see people carrying placards here and I should say here that there should be no breakdown of law and order because we are here to hear from all sides and make recommendations to the Vice President who set up the Committee”
Abba Moro said the Committee was set up to take care of the resettlement of the displaced people and since the previous committees did not fully settle the issues of the resettlement “We have been holding meetings in Abuja and it would not be proper for us to reach any decision without visiting the area that is affected in question and I can assure you that the recommendations we will make shall be fair and thorough” .
He said the committee would visits all the areas being suggested as the various political leaders of Baakassi as the chosen area and thereafter make their recommendations to the presidency. “We hope to take a look at all the areas being suggested as the accepted resettlement area by the different leaders of Bakkassi before reaching a decisions but beyond that I want the leaders to act with unity as the priority of government is to see to the welfare of the people before looking at the international dimension of the matter”.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Efiok Cobham, the deputy governor of Cross River State said the Federal Government was determined to resettle the people once and for all that was why Vice President Namadi Sambo set up the committee on the 13th of December 2012 as the last Committee which would be set up by the government on Bakassi.
He called on the people co corporate with government as the effort of government would be in vain like in previous cases if the people fail to work along government decisions. “The interest of the government is the people and you must cooperate with government to make sure that all your interests are taken care of”.
Dr Basey Ekpo Ekpo, the Chairman of Bakassi said the issue of where to relocate the displaced people had long been reached before he was elected in 2007, “but since I came into office the issue of another location for the resettlement of the displaced people of Bakassi has caused me so much stress and distraction”
Dr Ekpo Ekpo said that the government had since built three hundred houses for the displaced people and provided same with some interest facilities but that should not be paramount but development and peace. “Some people say the natives of the area where the resettlement camp is built are belligerent but I tell you that is not true: we speak the same language, play the same Ekpe how come we cannot live together peacefully”.
He said the infrastructure for the displaced people provided by government may not be enough which should be the preoccupation of the leaders not asking for another resettlement area which is a distraction.
The Paramount Ruler of Bakassi, Etiyin Etim Okon Edet said the only place the people of Bakassi can have peace and live in unity is when they are taken to Dayspring which he said is the only option.
follow us on twitter @crossriverwatch
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.