A new twist has emerged in the Bakassi struggle as Efik Kingdom is said to be making plans to join forces with Southern Cameroon to form an independent nation.
The move is coming even as the federal government foreclosed the review of the International Court of Justice ruling at The Hague. October 10 was deadline upon which the ICJ ruling of 2002 could be reviewed.
Thousands of Bakassi natives assembled at the Cultural Centre Ground, Calabar, from where they led a street protest to the Millennium Park wearing black arm bands and joined by other sons and daughters of Efikland to seek the way forward for the Bakassi struggle.
Their placards read: 'Return Bakassi to Nigeria', 'Shame on Those who Sold Bakassi', 'Donald Duke Betrayed Bakassi', 'Our Leaders, Do Not Cede Our Heritage to a Foreign Land', 'Abacha, Our Hero', among others.
The Obong of Calabar and Grand Patriarch of Efik Kingdom, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu (VI), in whose territory Bakassi is situated, said Bakassi belonged to Efik Kingdom and that the Efik people would not relent until they reclaim the area.
Represented by the Chairman, Etubom Traditional Council, Etubom Bassey Oko Bassey Duke, Obong Otu said the treaty for the ownership of Bakassi as an Efik entity was signed by the Obong of Calabar in 1890s.
He said the Efiks have all agreed to come together in the struggle to reclaim the land from foreigners and added that they had also acknowledged a proposal from Southern Cameroon to join forces with the Bakassi people to form an independent nation, expressing optimism that the struggle would certainly yield good results.
On his part, the Chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area, Dr. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey declared that the Bakassi struggle had just begun with the move by the Efik Kingdom to reclaim their land.