By Sunday Efa
The accommodation problems faced by Bakassi returnees may be far from over as 4,715 of them in Obutong, Bakassi local government area have only 200 houses to reside in.
This means and average of 23.575 people, approximately 24 people reside in each of the two bedroom houses built by the government.
The camp leader, Mr. Moses Bassey stated this when the board Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba visited to distribute relief materials following a request from them.
And, Mr. Bassey who commended the NDDC, said; “we have many other problems.”
He continued: “It is our desire that this support should also expand to other areas like organising skills acquisition training for us because the government has stopped training us.
“Also, We have serious accommodation problems. We are about 4,715 in this camp and out of the 300 housing units built for us by government, only about 200 were completed. So, imagine 4,715 people living in 200 houses.”
Now, billions have been voted for the resettlement of the returnees with accusations and counter accusations as well as allegations of embezzlement trailing the disbursement of the funds.
The governor, Ben Ayade had flagged off the construction of 5,000 housing units in Ikpa Nkanya village, Ikot Eyo ward in Akpabuyo local government area in February 2017.
He said the houses were been funded by the Africa Nations Development Program (ANDP) which till date, there has been no visible achievement on the site.
He had, also in August 2017, flagged of the construction of 50 housing units at Ifiang Ayong in Bakassi. The estate is to be situated at the bank of the river bothering Cross River State and Cameroon which according to Mr. Ayade was to keep fate with the returnees demand of been resettled where they can freely have access to their major source of livelihood; fishing.
Also, in August 2016 following a visit of the representative of the Mayor of Dortmund in Germany, the state said it was going to build affordable solar powered housing for the returnees.
All these, were said to be as a result of Mr. Ayade’s weeping over the plight of the Bakassi people.
Meanwhile, the state had introduced the conditional cash transfer (CCT) scheme to cushion the effects of the resettlement.
But, Mr. Bassey said this had stopped and pleaded that it should be resumed as well as the provision of basic amenities.
“I want to appeal to government to resume the conditional cash transfer which has since been stopped. Here, we don’t have light, no water, hospital and there’s complete absence of security. We need government to help us address these things,” he said.
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.