By Jonathan Ugbal
The internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Comprehensive Secondary School, Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem in Akpabuyo Local Council has called on the Federal Government to investigate the N38 billion that accrued to Cross River State following its loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom in 2012.
The Guardian reports that inmates also demanded a probe of their alleged diverted relief materials by state officials, disowned claims that Senator Florence Ita-Giwa is no longer their leaderand called on the Federal Government and the United Nations to channel future assistance to them through a new avenue.
This is the latest in string of sponsored marches, rallies and demonstrations following the alleged diversion of relief materials meant for Atai Ema community which has seen many Bakassi leaders target Mrs. Ita-Giwa while her supporters claim she is been antagonized for defecting to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The Bakassi peninsula was ceded to Cameroon by the International Court of Justice over a decade ago which occasioned the loss of 76 oil wells to Cross River State neighbor, Akwa Ibom state with the Supreme Court ruling directing the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to augment the allocation accruing to the state commensurate with the value loss of the oil wells.
The Chairman, RMAFC Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed had told Cross River Governor, Benedict Ayade in March that NGN38 Billion has been paid as palliatives to the state since 2006, which he (Ayade) had requested for an infinite augmentation of NGN2billion monthly due to the meager allocations to the state.
And now, the IDPs sympathetic to Mrs. Ita-Giwa say that sum could have gone far to alleviate their sufferings and plights.
The Camp Leader, Etim Okon Ene, said: “Just one billion is enough to take care of half of the problems of our people. But talking about N38 billion, I think it is a political pronouncement. We have not felt the impact of such money at all. That amount would have solved our plight. So far, nothing has been done. I am not convinced. It is totally false otherwise the Federal Government should rise up now and investigate. The EFCC and DSS should find out where this money has gone to.”
But, Mr. Aliyu told Mr. Ayade that the sum was meant to aid the state construct alternative revenue sources and platforms which Mr. Ayade said the state had identified tourism with his predecessor, Senator Liyel Imoke focusing on the Summit Hills project and upgrading the Obudu Mountain resort and Tinapa premier Business and Leisure resort.
These combined with his administration’s decision to dualize the 133.7 kilometers Mfom-Okuku-Abuochiche-Obudu-Ranch road, Mr. Ayade said were worth far more than the NGN38billion the state has received in a spread of over a long spread of time.
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