Bakassi: Youth demands compensation from FG

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River

Youths from Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River have demanded that Federal Government pay them compensation for the loss of Bakassi and 76 oil wells.

This was contained in a letter by the youths to President Muhammadu Buhari, dated May 31 and titled `A Letter of Demand’, and made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Calabar.

The letter was signed by the youth leader of Akpankaya community in Bakassi, Mr Kingsley Asuquo-Edem, on behalf of other youths.

He said the ceding of the oil rich peninsula to Cameroon in 2002 and the loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom had caused untold hardship to them.

Asuquo-Edem described the International Court of Justice judgement that ceded Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon and the Green Tree Treaty that contained the fitness of the implementation of the judgement as `unfair and biased’.

According to him, residents in the area also lost their means of occupation which was mostly farming and fishing including their natural resources and carbon deposit with the implementation.

“We demand as a matter of urgency, that the issue of boundary delineation be reviewed. The boundary review must include the so-called boundary adjustment between Cross River and Akwa Ibom in relation to the 76 oil wells.

“The decision by the government to cede Bakassi to Cameroon has deprived us of our homeland. We hereby call for an urgent economic and financial compensation in lieu of our losses without delay.

“We demand the National Boundary Commission as a matter of urgency to review the marine boundary between Cross River and Akwa Ibom to allow for the reclamation of the 76 oil wells which rightly belong to Cross River.

“We are peace loving people; we are demanding for our rights genuinely and hope that Mr President will do the needful.”

He said the ceding of the oil rich Bakassi to Cameroon has turned them into refugees in their own country.

“We have come to the point where we must make effective demands for our lives and those of our children who look up to us with tears about the bleak future that has been forced on us.

“Also, we need rapid infrastructural development in Bakassi. Our community roads are impassable, poor learning environment, no well equipped health centres, no good drinking water and many others.”

Asuquo-Edem also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to respect and implement the three Ikang wards as Bakassi in line with Law No. 7 of the Cross River House of Assembly and the Supreme Court judgment of Feb. 23, 2018.