13 December 2012

Nigeria: FG Constitutes Committee On Resettlement of Bakassi People

Photo: Thisday
Bakassi protesters.

The Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated a committee saddled with the responsibility of providing a new resettlement area for the people of Bakassi Peninsula.

Vice President Namadi Sambo announced the constitution of the committee at a meeting on Displaced People of Bakassi at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The committee, under the Chairmanship of the acting Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Efiok Cobham, is to find a lasting solution to the plight of the displaced people of Bakassi and resettle them permanently.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting, Cobham said the committee followed a meeting between Vice President Namadi Sambo, leaders of security agencies, the Cross River State Government officials and representatives of the Bakkassi community.

According to Cobham, the committee, with members drawn from federal and state agencies, is to prepare a comprehensive report on how best to permanently resettle the displaced people and submit its report to government in February 2013.

"Basically we discussed the issue of the resettlement of the displaced people of Bakassi and of course the Vice President in his wisdom has constituted a committee to look into the issues and the issues are quiet many.

"With me as a Chairman and the membership stretches between the Federal and State officials including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so that we can comprehensively look at the issues affecting the people of Bakassi and then submit a report to the Vice President on or before the end of February 2013."

According to him, the committee is expected to work out the demography of the new area that will suit the life style of the Bakassi people, and to evolve a comprehensive border development plan.

Senator Florence Ita Giwa, who also attended the meeting, expressed satisfaction with the handling of the Bakassi issue by the Federal Government.

"Today is one of the happiest days for me as leader of the Bakassi people because it shows that Nigeria is working, it shows that the Presidency is working.

"I did a very voluminous petition to the Presidency and this meeting is the outcome of my appeal for the Presidency to come to the aid of the suffering masses of Bakassi, and I am very, very happy that, in fact a very positive pronouncement and a committee has been put in place which, if these matters are addressed, will now bring succor to the people of Bakassi."

The meeting was also attended by the National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, Inspector- General of Police, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Director General, National Boundary Commission.

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