By David Nsa and Margaret John
Some Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) of Bakassi Local Government Area have appealed to the Cross River State Government to revisit the judgment which led to the ceding of the Peninsula to Cameroon, the 76 oil wells reallocated to Akwa Ibom State as well as disenfranchisement by INEC.
They made their plea known during a peaceful demonstration Thursday at the Local Government Council where the Caretaker Committee Chairman and his members were handed a letter addressed to the State Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade.
Addressing the Caretaker Committee led by the Chairman, Mr. Iyadim Iyadim, the Coordinator of the peaceful demonstrators, Mr. Kingsley Asuquo Edem stated that the youths of Bakassi have been neglected for far too long.
Mr. Kingsley Edem said, “Mr. Chairman Sir, we are happy to meet you this morning sir. Although this meeting, this movement is suppose to hold on Monday but we shifted it down to today because of the public holiday on Monday and what Governor has in hand, because of the swearing in on 29th. We have been patient enough as the youths of this Bakassi, so today the Bakassi youths have come together to say “No! Our mumu don do”, that the Government should look unto us and give us our economic benefits financially and other wise.
“Then our 76 oil well. We have met with Boarder Commission, Ministry of Justice we have had meetings with them; we move to governor’s office, we had a meeting with them, we came to understand that this thing was political and we have turned refugees in our Country, so we beg the government to come and rescue us.” He said.
Responding, the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Mr. Iyadim .A. Iyadim lauded the wisdom of the group in conducting themselves in a peaceful manner and identified with their challenges.
Iyadim said, “Let me us this opportunity to welcome you to Bakassi, and to say that I like the way and manner you have conducted yourself this is a peaceful demonstration, I can see people from all woks of life; nursing mothers to youths, elders and others from all works of life who are members of the sided Bakassi. I’m a refuge in my country, I’m a native of Oqua, so we are here battling with the issues of who owns the land they said they should come and acquire a land, the government came and acquired this place without paying a dime as compensation. So now we are here we have internally displaced persons living in their own country and also strangers who have crossed their ancestral home and are strangers in their own country, so there are a lot of issues.
“While the matter was going on, was anybody from Bakassi invited to testify in the tribunal? The answer is no. Was there any referendum conducted to ask the people where they want to belong; either Nigeria or Cameroon? This was not done. Again, why did we lose Bakassi and oil well to Akwa Ibom State? There are a lot of questions, if we want to start asking it will continue and continue.
“If I may continue, why were the world powers coming to witness for Cameroon in the green trade agreement talk about France, Russia, Germany, China and USA that their agreement would be that the terms of that agreement would be implemented to the letter, but this was not the issue. We have also discovered that Bakassi issue the people were not considered in any way they were playing international politics with the oil and nothing short of that, that’s why till today we have relocated, we are in the camp nobody cares to know how they people of Bakassi are fairing.” He said.
The Chairman of the caretaker committee concluded by promising to deliver the letter to the Governor and get a response within the two weeks ultimatum given by the aggrieved youths.
Watch report on CrossRiverWatch TV
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