By Archibong Jeremiah, House Of Assembly Correspondent
Members of Ikang Combined Council (ICC) have beckoned their representative in the Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA), Hon. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, to swiftly take legislative actions to address three major plights of the constituency.
The demand was made recently during a courtesy call to Hon. EKpo in the Assembly complex Calabar. The first according to the Chairman, Mr. Ayi Henshaw, who spoke for the group, is discrepancies in the Cross River Law No. 7 passed by the Assembly in 2007.
According to them, the law designated three political wards in the then Akpabuyo for the resettlement of the Bakassi returnees to make it ten as it were but today’s reality is that instead of ten wards in Bakassi they are lumped up into five.
The second according to the group is disenfranchisement of Ikang people in Bakassi, while accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of social discontent and infringement of their fundamental human right.
They revealed that the court judgment delivered on July 8th 2011 in suit number FHC/C/CA/21/2012 by Hon. Joe Etene versus INEC and others, which was appealed and lost by INEC at the Court of Appeal in suit number CA/C/NAEA/102/2012 delivered on the 6th of December, 2013, gives them the franchise to vote and be voted for in the statutory ten wards of Bakassi but that is been ignored by INEC.
The group further said it is appalling and contemptuous for INEC to insist that the present Bakassi remain as code 4 under the Global Positioning System (GOPS) mapping of the country especially during elections when the Ikang area constituting the present Bakassi by law is captured as code 3 under Akpabuyo.
Lastly, the ICC lamented of resettlement and non-compensation of host communities that donated lands for the resettlement of the Bakassi returnees.
The group which is a Non–Governmental Organization (NGO), concluded that the only way Hon. Bassey can make them feel at home is by looking critically into these assignments given to him and remain focused.
Responding, Hon. Ekpo commended the delegation for their courage in ensuring that the right things are done, adding that the issues presented are timely.
He assured the people that he will stop at nothing in ensuring that legislatively and otherwise, the challenges confronting his constituents are properly addressed else he would not have achieved anything in the Assembly.
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