September 27, 2023

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We’re Behind Otu In Moves To Reclaim Bakassi-Royal Father

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Moves by the governor of Cross River State, Senator Bassey Otu to reclaim the Bakassi Peninsula which was ceded to Cameroun in 2002 has the backing of the natives, says the paramount ruler of Bakassi, Etinyin Etim Okon Edet.


Edet told TNN in a telephone interview on Tuesday that Bakassi people were still hopeful that the Nigerian government would work out modalities to enable them reclaim their land so that they could return to their ancestral homes.


On May 29 when Otu took over as governor of the state, he had given signals that he would revisit the Bakassi issue. A few days ago, at a media event to mark the 100 days of his government, the governor had also hinted that he would not relent in the move.


He had said that the people “did not ask the federal government to hand over Bakassi and though in absolute sobriety, we have continued to say it without equivocation that nobody can declare a littoral judgment against a people when there is no referendum and the people did not subscribe to it.


“It is one of the points we have started fighting seriously and we have gone quite far in this fight. We call on the world to revisit this injustice done to a people as the voice of the Bakassi people, through a referendum, was ignored.

“The National Assembly has not ratified the Bakassi ceding and  as such, all hands should be on deck to ensure this injustice is redressed.”

During the interview, the royal father who is also the chairman of the state council of traditional rulers recalled that on the day of the handover of Bakassi to Cameroun, he was forced to leave his ancestral home with his walking stick and the clothes he was wearing when the order came.

He said between 2002 and now, he and the Bakassi natives have been made to live as refugees. He expressed his desire to return to his ancestral land, noting that the moves by Otu was a step in the proper direction and that Bakassi people were seriously behind him.

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