17th February, 2012
The problems which have plagued and stunted development in Bakassi are mainly political and can easily be resolved by the leaders and elders of the area without any outside influence and interference.
Senator Liyel Imoke, the PDP governorship candidate for the 25 February 2012 election in Cross River State stated this Wednesday at Ikang in Bakassi while addressing leaders of the area during a Town Hall meeting.
Senator Imoke told the leaders that Bakassi is always peaceful until during elections when the political leaders of the area would disagree and begin to foment crisis.
“There was a Law enacted in 2007 called Law No. 7 of Cross River State when I was governor and I am bound by that law which says that wards in Bakassi should be named numerically and not on ancestral basis and we have to fulfill that,” he said.
Imoke said some developmental projects for the people who were relocated following a World Court judgment are being kept back because the political leaders have different opinions where such projects should be located. “We have additional housing units to be built in Bakassi for the people but where to locate such houses is a problem because some leaders say the houses should be in Dayspring, while others say the houses should be somewhere. So, until the leaders agree the houses would not be built,” Imoke said
According to him, Bakassi has the youngest youth population in the state and the leaders owe them a duty to ensure that they get the best.
“We have a number of road projects and welfare programmes which the people have benefitted from. Bakassi people are the highest beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer of government and more things are being planned for you, therefore come together and agree for the sake of the future of the youths and land of Bakassi,” he declared.
He thanked the youths for not taking the laws into their hands and called on them to remain peaceful and law abiding as Bakassi, in spite its size and population, is a significant part of the state and Cross River would not be complete without Bakassi.
A spokesman for the leaders, Ani Esin said because of the personal interest of some leaders crisis in Bakassi has become a regular decimal and called on Imoke to be decisive in handling some leaders who do not want the development of BAKASSI.
Earlier, the chairman of BaKASSI, Dr Eyo Ekpo Bassey assured Imoke of the total support of the people during the 25 February election.
Senator Ita Giwa, who is from the area and popularly known as Mama Bakassi was absent during the campaign to the area apparently still angry with Imoke for what she claimed “was arming the youths to disgrace” her.
—Emma Una, Calabar