Paramount Ruler of Bakassi and chairman of the Cross River State Council of Traditional Rulers, Etinyin Etim Okon Edet has urged the federal government to take steps to nullify the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroun.
Apart from this, the monarch also wants the government to properly resettle the Bakassi people and adequately compensate them.
In an interview with TNN on Sunday, Edet also spoke on the plans by the state government to commission the 50 houses built for the people as part of the resettlement efforts. He said he wasn’t aware of the inauguration plans.
According to him, the federal government should pay “adequate compensation to Bakassi people for their palaces, properties, means of livelihood as a result of the ceding, and the CRS Govt in perpetuity.”
On the commissioning, he said “Am not aware. Am waiting to be informed but I have heard unofficially.
” If adequate care is not taken, it would again be given to wrong and strange people as the first.
You know, Bakassi has become a “moving caravan”. But they have forgotten that they are international laws on human displacements, evictions and voluntary resettlement of the people affected.
“In Resettlement schemes, the people are usually involved and partake in the negotiations. It is usually participatory. From the beginning of our travails till now, it has not been so.
“The federal government has not been transparent in the relocation not to talk of the resettlement of the Bakassi people and so the needs and concerns of the people have not been properly articulated.
“Don’t forget, I am a major returnee. Where is my palace.? Where are the palaces of my clan heads. Where is our welfare and security which should be the primary purpose of the federal government.
“This area was given out by the federal government not the State. So I don’t blame them for anything. But let us do things right. They should learn lessons from the Finima Relocation at Bonny Island in Rivers State.
“Ayade has put up about 50 housing units as a state, which is not enough. But even at that, my heart will bleed if those houses are given to strange people for political or emotional sentiments. The truth is, we know the real and internally displaced person. We know.”
He said the government had not shown enough seriousness on the issue of resettlement because “the area for the resettlement programme should have been surveyed, mapped out and proper title deeds issued to all resettled families.
“Their economic activities and livelihoods restored, social security and welfare schemes guaranteed.
“We demand the return of our homeland as there is no justice and fair play in Nigeria. We are waiting the sound of the “Trumpet” soon and very soon.”