2,500 displaced Bakassi fishermen protest in Calabar

By JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU, Calabar

NO fewer than 2,500 Nigerian fishermen displaced at the ceded Bakassi Peninsula Friday  protested over alleged rape of their women, homelessness, harassment and inability to have assess to the waters for their fishing business.

The protesters made up of men and women who were residing at the ceded oil-rich island before the federal government surrendered Nigeria’s sovereignty to Cameroon, said that they either have any place to call their home, security or means of survival as Cameroon has taken control of the island.

Some of the placards by the protesting fishermen had different inscription such as “Obago, Gowon, De Don, Mama Giwa, Etinyin etc, where is Bakassi,” “Our women/children have been abused sexually due to the lost of our land”, “Bakassi returnees are not settled, yet the land has been ceded out where do we stand.”

Other placards by the fishermen and women that came with their fishing tools like nets and paddlers were, “we have lost so much, houses, farmlands, products, canoes, fishing nets etc, how do we start over” and, “Idiosyncrasy of our leaders led to the lost of our land.”

Speaking at governor’s office where they went to see Governor Liyel Imoke, spokes person and Secretary, Bakassi Resettlement Forum Ikot Efiom Ebutong Estate Victor Udukang said they were the affected returnees in Bakassi Peninsula ceded to Cameroon and that they protested to inform the governor what they had lost and the pains they were passing through.

Addressing the protesters, Governor Imoke represented by the State Security Adviser, Mr. Rokpene Bassey, said that they had the right to be angry and that there could be nothing as painful as being uprooted from ones ancestral home to alien environment.

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2,500 displaced Bakassi fishermen protest in Calabar

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