Posted by News Express | 31 May 2020 | 456 times
By EYO CHARLES, Calabar
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has reminded President Muhammadu Buhari to make good his promise when he visited the state to review the ceding of Bakassi to the Republic of Cameroon.
He made the appeal when he spoke in Bakassi to mark his five years as governor of the state.
The governor also unveiled new housing estate for the Bakassi displaced people during the occasion. He said that the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon did not follow any known law in the country and amounts to an illegality.
Bakassi is a peninsula on the Gulf of Guinea.
It lies between the Cross River estuary, near the city of Calabar in the west of the Bight of Biafra, and the Rio del Ray estuary on the east. It is governed by Cameroon, following the transfer of sovereignty from neighbouring Nigeria as a result of a judgment by the International Court of Justice.
On 22 November 2007, the Nigerian Senate rejected the transfer, since the Greentree Agreement ceding the area to Cameroon was contrary to Section 12(1) of the 1999 Constitution. Regardless, the territory was transferred to Cameroon on 14 August 2008.
But Ayade stressed that the action amounts to wickedness of Nigeria against the people of the territory. “We call your attention to the wickedness of Nigeria against the people and also want you to recognise the pain of the people of Bakassi as injustice to one is injustice to all.
“We also want to draw the consciousness of the president to the people of Bakassi because the country has unfinished business here and also ask that the president visits Bakassi to see the people and the condition they are living in”, Ayade said.
Making his remarks, the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi and Chairman, Cross River State Council of Chiefs, Dr Etim Okon Edet, said: “We have become a moving caravan, moving from one area to the other, to the other, and I plead with you to acquire an empty land, map it out, survey it, and give us the title so that the Bakassi people can be resettled properly.”
Ayade inaugurates housing estate
Meanwhile, Ayade has inaugurated a housing estate to resettle some of the Bakassi displaced people as part of activities marking his first term in office. Speaking at the ceremony held in Ifianyong community in the new Bakassi, Professor Ayade said it was the first social housing in Africa where the ownership is in perpetuity.
The governor said he felt proud to have put a smile on the faces of the displaced people.
“Any government that fails to provide shelter for its people has failed and the real measurement of government is how many people you have lifted out of poverty.
“Today, I am happy God has given me the opportunity to put a smile on the face of people of the area”, he said.
He urged them not to despair but hope in God whom he said will one day reverse the injustice done to them. Ayade also announced a N50 million grant to the people to commence small scale businesses. (Daily Trust)
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