Earlier today we handed over a housing estate to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Bakassi Local Government Area
My first tears for the people of Bakassi was when I was a senator on the floor of the Nigerian Senate which prompted me to push for a bill which went through second reading and fourth for the establishment of social housing and provision of housing as a right. Section 14 Sub section 2 of our constitution provides for the welfare and security of your citizens as the primary purpose of Government.
Today I felt a sense of fulfillment having been there to see my son, my aunty, my mother and father living in a clustered accomodation in a primary school with mosquitoes feasting on them with no place to farm no place to lay their head, but today by the grace of God, by the instrumentality of the holy ghost we’re there to celebrate the plethora of opportunities where people will be living in a world class estate.
Today is not just about the joy to the people of Bakassi it is the supremacy of the governance of a sensitive people over the failure of the federal government to be responsible for the pain of the people of Bakassi.
The ceding of Bakassi did not follow any legal authority. It is inconsistent with the provisions of our constitution because the Constitution is very clear that for you to cede any territory of Nigeria you must have a proper plebiscite, you must have the domestication of such ceding and ratified by the national assembly.until you do so whatever you have done is null and void
By resettling the returnees in decent houses, their misery has come to an end.
This is the first social housing in Africa in absolute terms where the ownership is in perpetuity where the property is theirs to keep forever. We will continue to expand it, it is not enough to provide them housing because this is not shelter, this is housing it has amenities it has power, it has water it has all the utilities you will need, it has solar lighting, it has the generator and the 3rd grid which is the national grid. We have acquired boats which are by the water side to enable them do fishing for those who can fish.
We have also made provisions for a take off grant of 50 million Naira to support all those who live at the estate and want to start small businesses. And the good news is that I have no elections to run so you can see clearly this is not politics, it is from my heart. I call on the people of Bakassi to be strong because their kids will grow to become leaders someday and when they grow they will do much more than I have did for them today. I encourage them not to despair because God is watching and he has seen the injustice meted on the people of Bakassi and Cross River State.
Let me pass a direct message to the president of the country. As president of Nigeria you were here in 2015 and you promised the people of Cross River during your campaign that you will revisit and review the issue of the Bakassi people. Mr President let’s remind you that you have not reviewed and you have not visited the issue of Bakassi.
Mr President let’s remind you that you won elections on the basis of self Integrity and that your intergrity is out to question on the issue of Bakassi. Mr President it is on record that we have IDPs in Bakassi long before we have IDPS in other parts of the country. Mr President we know you as a man of good conscience. The people of Bakassi have not had a fair share of the treatment meted on other IDPs. The federal government must recognize that the ceding of Bakassi that led to the loss of our oil wells is an illegality and on the basis of that, the loss of revenue therefore is also illegal.
Mr President must come here and see the living conditions of this people since 2002, you must visit the people of Bakassi in order to honor your words in 2015. Mr President you owe them a duty because they are citizens that God have put under your stewardship.