BAKASSI SAGA STILL HUNTS DISPLACED AKWA IBOM PEOPLE -AKPABIO
Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has said the people affected by the displacement from Bakassi Peninsula in Cameroun to Cross River State still nurse a bitter experience.
Some years ago, the International Court of Justice at Hague ruled that Bakassi Peninsula belonged to Cameroun and the then Nigeria's President, Olusegun Obasanjo officially handed over to Cameroun and the residents, mostly Akwa Ibom people were relocated to Cross River State.
Akpabio bared his mind when a delegation of United Nations on international boundary matters led by Mrs. Rosa Marie from Spain paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Uyo. He posited: 'The Bakassi Peninsula saga will remain a bitter pill for the people of Akwa Ibom because 80 per cent of our natives lived in Bakassi. Due to the saga caused by boundary crisis between Cross River and Cameroun, most of our people died as a result of abject poverty. I hope all the agencies present here today have realized their mistakes of the past.
'The returnees from Bakassi, who are my people and most of them who are not from this state are well taken care of by the state government. We have singlehandedly put in huge sum of money for their welfare. At every point in time, we must be our brothers keeper by trying to help one another.''
Marie thanked the state governor for supporting and meeting the needs of the returnees, assuring the governor that United Nations would assist the state government to support them. Mr. Richard Orji, a representative of the Federal Government said the Federal Government, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other agencies in collaboration with United Nations were on a fact finding tour to assess the needs and provisions made for the returnees in the state.
Orji commended the state governor for his various achievements and for delivering dividends of democracy to the people, urging him to continue with the good works in the state. In another development, the state government has condoled with the family of Anwana O. Anawana over the sudden demise of his wife and the immediate past head of civil service in Akwa Ibom State, Mrs. Grace O. Anwana.
Governor Godswill O. Akpabio who paid a condolence visit Saturday to the bereaved family in Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo noted ''I find it unbelievable that she is gone. But I believe that God would strengthen you, the children and other members of the family. I still grieve because she was part of us. God gives and He takes away. On behalf of myself, government and the people of Akwa Ibom, I mourn with you and the family''.
''She was industrious, dependable and a trustworthy person. She was indeed an excellent woman who impacted people positively. That is why the people of Akwa Ibom have really felt her demise. In all, it shows that life is nothing. We should strive to be always prepared in case God calls us'', the Governor remarked.
The husband, Elder Anwana who thanked the Governor for the visit pointed out the woman was everything in his life and her departure has created a vacuum in the family difficult to be filled, praying to sustain them.