By Frank Edima
Special Adviser, SA on security issues to the Bakassi Local Government Council chairman, Prince Edem Nsa has reliably informed CrossRiverWatch that Bakassi people still living in Cameroon have been told to start paying taxes, considered illegitimate,or take their leave.
Edem said that on Friday, 22nd May, 2015 some Bakassi people from the affected area (Abana) stormed the council secretariat to lament their unwarranted persecution by the Cameroon government. The group led by Chief Eyo Eyo (Abana Youth Leader), Reverend Kpeti, Mrs. Affiong Asuqo, Mr. Bassey Eyo, and Mr. Effiong Edet, maintained that the Cameron Government has made life very terrible and uneasy for them in their motherland. The leader of the delegation Chief Eyo Eyo in his words said, “we have lived our lives as fishermen but all of a sudden, the Cameron Government said we should change our trade and leave their land. They threaten our lives to an unbearable level. Can you imagine? They have asked every adult to pay N45, 000 (forty five thousand naira), N25, 000 (twenty five thousand naira) for children above 15 years before we can leave in our motherland”.
Reverend Kpet, also in the delegation went on to reveal that in recent times, the victims have found their trade very risky as Cameroonians would not allow them fish in their water anymore. “We pay before we fish. Each trip is N25, 000 (twenty five thousand naira) and each person going out to fish pays N45, 000 (forty five thousand naira). For you to fish effectively, you need not less than five people in the boat. That means is if I need to fish; I would have to pay forty five thousand naira by five heads and twenty five thousand naira for the trip which amounts to N250, 000 (two hundred and fifty thousand naira) for each fishing trip. If we pay like this, how much then do we sell our fish and crayfish”, he questioned.
Mrs. Affiong Asuquo added that, “whatever we have is from fishing. Our children’s tuition is from fishing. They are forcing us to bring our children to their school. If we do not fish how do we have money to pay school fees? We have suffered in the hands of Cameroonians”.
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