Nigerian government has abandoned Bakassi indigenes – Monarch

The Paramount Ruler of Bakassi in Cross River State, Etim Okon-Edet, has accused the federal government of abandoning indigenes of the community.

He also appealed to the Federal Government to ensure proper resettlement of Bakassi indigenes who were displaced from the Bakassi peninsula.

Mr. Etim stated these in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar on Sunday.

He described as deplorable the condition of the Bakassi people of the state since the peninsula was ceded to the Republic of Cameroon in 2008.

“Our land was taken away from us without notice. We abandoned all our belongings, our fishing business and our farmlands.

“We thought that by now government would have completely resettled us as enshrined in the ‘Green Tree’ agreement.

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“But up till now, we are still on our own without anyone coming to help us,” he said.

According to Mr. Etim who is the Chairman of the Cross River State Traditional Rulers’ Council, the people had decided to go spiritual about their plight by praying to God to intervene.

“The Bakassi people have resigned to faith in this matter and are looking for proper resettlement.

“We don’t want to go to the International Court of Justice in Hague or anywhere else; what we want is proper resettlement,” the monarch said.

According to him, the Federal Government had in the past constituted various committees on Bakassi issues, but nothing concrete has come out of them.

|I am aware that those committees have recommended proper resettlement of the aborigines of Bakassi.

“In 2014 federal budget, about N100 billion was proposed for the resettlement of Bakassi aborigines, but today nothing is heard about it.

“There is nothing on ground to show that anything happened in that regard,” Mr. Edet added.


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