Contact: +2347033996028 Bakassi Council Chair, Residents Cries For Help As Cultist, Armed Robbers Torment Them; IPOB Hoist Flag In LGA - Grassroot Reporters | Nigeria's No. 1 Online Newspaper

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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Bakassi Council Chair, Residents Cries For Help As Cultist, Armed Robbers Torment Them; IPOB Hoist Flag In LGA

By Obio Monday

Residents of Bakassi Local Government Area have cried out over incessant cultist, armed robbery attacks in the LGA.

This is as suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) hoisted the Biafra flag at 'Welcome to Bakassi', the entry route to the local government, harassed residents of the area.

Residents who spoke with GRASSROOT REPORTERS said the suspected IPOB members stormed the area, chased away security men manning the area and hoisted their flag. More security men were however  deployed to the area and the boys fled.

A resident, Emmanuel Okon told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that residents of Ikot Okon Ekpri Iwong, Ikot Edem Oku, Ikang, live in fear as they are attacked by cultists, armed robbers almost on daily basis.

He said "It's a terrible situation in Bakassi as I speak to you. They attack market women going to market, collect their monies almost on every market day. 

"They do all these with impunity as there is little or no security presence the area. No police station, nothing. Last week Friday, they attacked some policemen at Welcome To Bakassi."

In an exclusive interview with GRASSROOT REPORTERS, the Chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area, Hon. Iyadim Iyadim confirmed the hoisting of the Biafran flag at the local but said security men came and removed the flag.

He said: "By hoisting the Biafra flag, the boys may not know the consequences of their action. Some of these boys are ignorant, some are used by external forces. We have made them know that we are not taking their matter lightly. Security men have been deployed to the area. In fact, we have placed a temporary curfew in the LGA from 7pm."

The chairman explained that the deteriorating security situation in Bakassi is compounded by the non-resttlement of the Bakassi people and government's failure to fulfill its promise to ex-Niger Delta militants who downed their tools and embraced amnesty.

"The government had asked these agitators to down their tools and embrace amnesty and they were more than 500 who surrendered. When Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in collaboration with state government wanted to do life support training for the ex-agitators, they picked nearly 160 and the remaining ones don't know when the next would be their turn and something is not also done to sustain them, so it's difficult to stop them from harassing people to collect their valuables. Something should be given to them.

" We have done everything to curtail the activities of these boys. We used operatives to arrest them but the problem will never be stopped by that approach." He said.

Hon. Iyadim further explained that the situation is so bad that has not gone to work for the past one year as his council headquarters was completely raised down last year.

"My local government was brought down by people who are very disgruntled with government. They burnt down the police station, brought down every government institution in the local government.

" As I speak,  for more than one year I've not gone to work. I only work skeletally but I intend to resume next month.

The council chairman called for help from government and bodies.

"I am making effort but there has to be a carrot and stick approach to this thing. When you tell them don't do this, what do offer them on the right hand?. We have also made our case known. The security agencies have also written to government. All the arms of government are aware of these challenges in my local government.

" Government should please come to my aid. We will not be able to remove these people from the local government without deliberate effort. The governor of Cross River State is trying his best but other people may join.

"Bakassi problem is a big one. Till today, there is no resettlement for the people. These is no compensation for the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon".

On the lack of electricity in the LGA for more than one year, he assured that soon, power supply will be restored as efforts had been made in this direction.

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