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War in Bakassi, as refugees protest council ejection moves

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It was a mild drama in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State, as Bakassi natives protested moves by the officials of the local government to forcefully eject them from their temporary camp at Akwa Ikot Eyo in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state.

Daily Sun investigations revealed that the moves to re-locate the natives from the St. Mark’s Primary School in Akwa Ikot Eyo, where they had been since their displacement, following an attack by Cameroon Gendarmes, a couple of weeks ago, might not be unconnected with the planned visit of the Federal Government Resettlement Committee to the state.

The Bakassi Local Government, it was learnt, had gone to the temporary camp with a lorry load of combined security operatives to possibly dislodge the displaced persons, numbering over 1, 000 on a flimsy excuse that schools would soon resume and the need to move them to the housing estate at Ekpri Ikang in Bakassi.

It was equally gathered that the decision to evacuate the natives was taken by authorities after full-scale investigations and discovery that those claiming to be displaced were ‘fake,’ allegedly assembled by a popular politician to score cheap political point. But sensing some political undertone and another ploy to use them, the natives bluntly refused to leave, just as some of them blocked the entrance leading to the camp with palm stems, while women and children shouted at the top of their voices, saying “please-leave-us-alone.”

The development almost resulted into a bloody clash, but for the prompt intervention of the police and a handful of military men, which accompanied the evacuation team to the camp. Some of the natives, who spoke to newsmen while confronting the evacuation team, accused the Bakassi council of extermination agenda for attempting to force them back to what they described as ‘hostile environment,’ where they were driven out in 2010, few months after the estate was allocated to them.

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