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IDPs: Bakassi People Decry Neglect By Nigeria, International Community

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Andy Essiet, Calabar

The people of Bakassi in Cross River state have raised an alarm over their continuous neglect by the Nigerian government and the international community. 

The Chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area (LGA), Chief Iyadim Amboni Iyadim raised the alarm on Monday while inaugurating the Bakassi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) / Returnees Management Committee with a charge that members should address all issues related to the problems of the area following the ceding of part of its territories in 2002 to Cameroon as well as the effects of the 2020 End-SARS riot holistically.

He said, “the displaced people of  Bakassi LGA are not well captured as with their kinds in Ogoja , IKom and Boki, stressing that all the international observers and signatories to  the ceding of portion of Bakassi to Cameroon have not lived up to their promises thereafter  as their promised of a model city is still an illusion.

“The problem of Bakassi people concerning their displacement has not been solved as the people have been denied and deprived of the ancestral homeland and occupation”

Iyadim accordingly said the terms of reference of the committee led by Mr. Bassey Ita Edet, “is to ascertain and build a database for all IDPs / returnees wherever they are settled, liaise with the various agencies of government at federal, state and local government levels, liaise with all international donor agencies/organizations that coordinate the activities of IDPs/returnees.

“To manage the welfare/wellbeing of all the Bakassi IDPs/ returnees in all camps. The committee shall from time to time submit its progress report to the office of the Executive Chairman on a quarterly basis”.

Iyadim stated that the peculiar problems of the area culminated in constitution of the committee which he noted is  not made of political appointees.

The Chairman of the committee commended the Chairman of Bakassi for finding them worthy to handle such an enormous task, saying though the state might lack the capacity to handle the Bakassi IDPs/Returnees problems, the management committee will stretch its hands to international donor agencies to attract attention to Bakassi, adding that they will work hard   to actualize the dreams of the chairman as one his greatest performances is the formation of the committee

Óther members of the committee are Hon Effiong Edet Effiong _Secretary , Prince Edem Nsa, Hon Udeme Effiong Okon, Chief Etim Okon Ene, Prince Austin Inyang, Hon Christopher Edet, Rep of Nigeria Police, Rep of DSS and Rep of NSCDC.

The Special Adviser to the governor on IDPs Matters,Pastor Patrick Asikpo Okon in his remark, reminded  members of the committee that they have an enormous assignment which they should not shy away,  adding that they should work in synergy to record success.

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