By Ike Uchechukwu – Calabar
The Executive Chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area, Hon Iyadim Amboni Iyadim has called on the Federal government to either return the 76 oil well ceded to Akwa Ibom state or settle his people properly.
Iyadim also asserted that he doesn’t understand why Bakassi was ceded so fast adding that what happened in 2003 has never happened anywhere in the world citing the case of America and Mexico amongst others.
Iyadim made the call during the Thanksgiving ceremony/100 days in office at the Bakassi Council headquarters at Ekpri Ikang on Thursday.
He said it was unfortunate that the people of Bakassi were still displaced, neglected and on transit 23 years after the ceding of their territory to Cameroon
He noted that the untold hardship that the loss of their heritage and land has caused them was irreparable adding that the loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom has not only deepened the sufferings of the people of Bakassi alone but Cross River as a whole.
His words: “We want our 76 oil wells back. We have lost everything. How come we lost our territory yet our oil wells were still given to Akwa Ibom. We can barely pay workers.
“The people of Bakassi have been abandoned, neglected and have been on transit for over 20 years, we have suffered a lot because we lost those oil well and our territory due to national interest.
“The Federal government should settle the people of Bakassi properly or return our 76 oil wells, we have suffered enough for the collective interest of this country and yet we have nothing to show for it.
“In all the similar cases like non has been so hastily granted like that of Bakassi, our land was hastily handed over in a political way , they should return our territory or settle us as agreed,” Iyadim lamented.
Speaking further, the Chairman called on the State government to as a matter of urgency fufill the agreement it signed with the ex-agitators under the auspices of Bakassi Strike Force’ BSF.
“Up till now, the ex-agitators have not been rehabilitated and this is a very big challenge, the government should fulfil the agreement it signed when they laid down their weapons and embraced peace,” he said.