Bakassi – The Malnourished Child Of Greedy Parents BY AGBA JALINGO

In Breaking News, Opinion, Politics

Bakassi has so many things in abundance. That is why Bakassi became a global bone of contention in the first place. Apart from the often talked about oil deposits, Bakassi is rich in other mineral resources. Rich in aquatic resources. Rich in popularity. Rich in diversity. Rich in international politics. Rich in pain and sorrow. Rich in settlement and hospitality because anyone can live in and adopt Bakassi as home. Just name it! Yet the Bakassi people became one of the earliest Internally Displaced Persons in their own homeland when there was no war or ethnic crises amongst them.

It’s true that Bakassi has everything, but parents who are genuinely concerned about her welfare. So Bakassi has remained malnourished. Those who control the political economy of Bakassi and Cross River State and Nigeria, have effectively cornered the anticipated perquisites due to the people of the island and conflated the general needs of the people of Bakassi with their personal needs. Apart from turning the indigenes of Bakassi to despicable objects of charity and pittances, successive Cross River State Governments have laid claim to building estates to resettle the Internally Displaced People of Bakassi. All of those places have been taken over by clusters of hoodlums and in reality, till today, the people of Bakassi have no place to call home, despite the little or much that the State gets from the center in the name of Bakassi.

After Bakassi was handed over during the Duke era, it was not immediately clear what the State government benefited. Under Governor Imoke, we were privileged to learn that, a lump sum of fifteen billion naira was released from the Stabilization Fund by RMAFC, to the Cross River State government, plus five hundred million naira monthly augmentation for two years, amounting to 6 billion naira, which was also paid in bulk in June 2013. In addition to another N400million Naira every month. This information was disclosed in a letter dated April 12, 2014 which the RMAFC sent to Imoke, requesting to visit the State to monitor and evaluate what the Bakassi intervention fund had achieved.

Then in May 2017, a former Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Aliyu Mohammed, during a visit to the State to see Governor Ayade, said as part of efforts to assuage the pains caused by the loss of Bakassi, about N38billion has been paid as special allocation to the State by the Federal Government over a period of 11 years, as compensation. But the state government insists that this amount was grossly inadequate, considering the enormity of the dislocation suffered by the people, and the attendant economic loss to the State. While I agree completely with the State government that the amount paid so far is grossly inadequate, I will also not fail to ask where in Bakassi can we find the 38billion Naira already received or its equivalent, on the ground?

Like greedy parents who neglect their malnourished children, none of our State governors, both past and present have been interested in even accepting that our State gets anything at all as compensation for the people of Bakassi. Bakassi has become synonymous with pittance and charity despite the fact that billions are coming from Abuja for the rescue of the IDPs as well as statutory monthly allocation hovering between N100m – N150m. An aggregation of all these funds and proper utilization of same will, without any doubt, change the fortunes of the people of Bakassi humongously.

While we must all add our voices to ask for more for Bakassi, even as the country currently prepares a new revenue sharing formula for the three tiers of government, the much that has come into the State and still coming in the name of Bakassi, must be spent on the people of Bakassi and not elsewhere.

Yours sincerely

Citizen Agba Jalingo, a journalist and rights activist is a Cross Riverian and writes in from Lagos.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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.

CLICK HERE

New Feature: Don't miss any of our news again.Get all our articles in your facebook chat box.Click the Facebook Messenger Icon below to subscribe now

Text Advert by CRWatch :Place Yours

Will You To Learn How To Make Millions Of Naira Making Special Creams From Your Kitchen?.Click Here


Expose Your Business And Make More Sales. Advertise On CrossRiverWatch.com Today

You may also read!

2023: With Or Without The Law, Electronic Transmission Will Be In The Process, Cast Your Vote – Sen. Bassey

By Anietie Akpan, The Guardian All hope of returning Bakassi Peninsula to Nigeria may not have been lost yet, as

Read More...

The Book Of Cross River Chapter 2, Verse 1-10 BY AGBA JALINGO

(Continued from Chapter 1) 1. And once news spread abroad throughout all the province of River Cross, that the

Read More...

This Has Caused Us ‘Monumental Embarrassment’ – Army On Officer Dehumanizing Corp Member

By Patrick Obia The Nigerian Army, headquarters has reacted to the viral video and images where a commissioned female

Read More...

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Mobile Sliding Menu

Share this now