Bakassi Self-determination Front, one of the groups leading the agitation for an independent Bakassi state has hoisted the national flag of the proposed country in the oil-rich island.
It has also established a radio station at Dayspring Island to propagate the aspirations of the envisaged nation.
The liberation flag has the colours of blue, white and red festooned with stars and flying over the landscape of Dayspring Island to the consternation of Cameroon gendarmes.
According to the group, its decision to float a radio station was part of the efforts to sensitise the people and awake their consciousness to the essence of self-determination and thus realise the ultimate goal of the struggle - self determination.
The radio station commenced transmission on August 6 at midday and operates on 4.2MHz and 5.2MHz band.
This development is coming four days after the expiration of the two-week ultimatum which the group issued its kinsmen and the Cameroonian occupiers to vacate the ceded territory or be crushed by the impending rebellion on the island.
Commander-General of the group, Ekpe Ekpenyong Oku, in his maiden broadcast to the people of Bakassi said, “Please for the umpteenth time, we plead with our people to leave Abana now. The fight is going to be the thickest and fieriest now that our brothers from the Northern and eastern borders have fully arrived. Bakassi we hail thee.”
He gave a stern warning to all travellers on the sea of Bakassi Peninsula to steer clear of the island on August 11 and 12, saying the two days were not ideal for them to navigate the coast for whatever reason.
“There will be no sea movement so that you don’t have cause to regret. There shall be no movement of boats from Ikang or Marina beach in Calabar to Cameroon on these two days. Be warned,” he said.
Furthermore, he called “on men of goodwill, individual, human rights organisations and the people of Bakassi to join hands in resisting and fighting the present international conspiracy against us.”
A statement earlier issued by him in Calabar, Cross River State capital, claimed that arrangements had been concluded with some international liberation groups to assist the Bakassi natives in the battle ahead.
“Ours will be a classical story of the elephant and the ant. The elephant will soon be driven frantic with ants all over its enormous bulk. The elephant will be so harassed and will find no respite and will dash itself against a tree trunk.
“Throughout history, injured people have had to resort to arms in their self-defence where peaceful negotiations fail. Bakassi people are no exception. Our right to self-determination is imminent; some will die, but some will live to reap from our labour,” the Commander-General stated.
It would be recalled that on July 9, 2009 following the signing of the Green Tree Agreement (GTA) in 2006, a nascent group in the now ceded territory, “Bakasssi Freedom Fighters,” had vowed to become an independent state if Nigeria surrenders sovereignty to Cameroon.
Tension had reached boiling point as the reality of the handover of the island began to dawn on the natives but ahead of the August 14, 2008 exchange of sovereignty at Government House Calabar, leader of the militant group, Tony Ene, was killed in a mysterious road accident on Calabar-Itu highway.
Ene and his group were the first to hoist the Bakassi national flag at Abana, the erstwhile headquarter of Bakassi Local Government Area with the rising sun as its symbol but the Nigerian government brought it down threatening Ene and his colleagues with arrest.
However, the government of Cameroon is said not to be resting on its oars as it has resorted to subtle diplomacy by reaching out to those that matter on the Nigerian side so that the situation does not degenerate into internecine conflict even as authorities in Yaounde have deployed more troops to Bakassi with all of them put on red alert to forestall any eventuality.