Scores of Nigerians Feared Dead as Thousands Flee Bakassi

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No eviction order in Bakassi, says Cameroun

By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and  Bassey Inyang in Calabar

There are fears that scores of Nigerians have been killed, and over one thousand of them forcibly evicted from Abana the headquarters of Bakassi peninsula which is under the sovereignty of Cameroun.

Some of the affected people who said most of the adults have fled Abana to Cross River State, and Akwa Ibom, lamented that the Camerounian gendarmes, aside from killing Nigerians in Bakassi, destroyed their homes, and fishing boats and nets, and other property.

At Ikang jetty in Akpabuyo Local Government Area, over 100 of the fleeing Nigerians were seen standing in groups discussing their plight.

One of them, Chief Umoh Umoh Inyang, who spoke with journalists at the jetty, said he and other people fled their community, Akankanya in Bakassi yesterday when it became obvious that their lives were in danger.

Inyang said scores of the Bakassi people in Abana had been killed by the Camerounian gendarmes, saying the current problem has to do with what he described as outrageous taxes imposed by the Camerounian authorities on fishermen in the their home communities.

Inyang said he escaped at night to Nigeria. Speaking in Efik language through an interpreter who gave his name as Linus Asuquo Essien, he said: “The Cameroonian gendarmes have been harassing us so much. They destroy our things, destroy our boats, beat us up and shot many of us. They made a lot of trouble for us in Akpankanya in Bakassi.

“They would not let us carry on with our lives and livelihood in peace. The sufferings we have received are so great we had to come back. They would not let us go to the sea for our fishing,  and in our houses where we were just staying they came and asked us to pay N100,000 each for each boat engine.  When we said we do not have such money, they started beating us up and shot a lot of us. We had to leave suddenly, and so many people missed their children and members of their families. We got to this Ikang jetty around 2a.m. today. They even raped our wives.

“So many of our people have been held captive there. They have killed about 97 people. So many people ran into the bush, so many others are scattered along the waterway. We came in all these boats you are seeing here. We were over 2,000 that were scattered over there. Right now, we don’t know where so many others are. Some of us managed to land here around 2a.m. The others are scattered all over the place.”

Another fleeing Nigerian, Mr. Nse Edet Okon, who also lamented the ordeal they passed through said: “They came to our place, we are staying from house to house,  and asked us to pay N100,000 and when we said we do not have the money they descended on us and killed many of us. We just managed to escape to this place.

“At least 94 were killed in Atabong that we were. We don’t know about other areas. We were hearing gunshots all over the place.

“We have about 137 that landed here in Ikang. The number is actually growing because we were 132 when we first got here.

“There was so much pandemonium. They destroyed everything. In 2008, they killed three canoe boys who worked with me while the rest escaped by jumping into the water. This time around the came and told me to pay N100,000 tax for my engine. And I said I don’t have that kind of money; that I have not even been going for Christmas. That is why they started beating us.”

Appealing to the Nigerian authorities to come to their rescue, he said: “The Nigerian government should intervene urgently in this matter. Please they should come and help. Let the international commnuniy also intervene in this matter like the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has ordered reinforcement of security forces to quell the raging communal conflict between the Wanikade and Wanihem communities in the Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Consequently, Osinbajo, according to a statement late last night by his media aide, Mr. Laolu Akande, who condemned the wanton loss of lives and property in the crisis, directed the security agencies to take urgent measures to avert a further breakdown of law and order.

He also directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to liaise with the state government  with a view to sending relief materials to the affected communities.

The acting president equally appealed to the warring communities to give peace a chance in order to enable government find a lasting solution to the crisis.

  • solex

    Obasanjo will never go unpunished, God will not forgive him for the evil that men did must surely live with him.

  • Sarah

    Nigeria, under Gowon, formally agreed to cede Bakassi as a price in return for Cameroun blockading the secessionist Eastern region.
    Cameroun complied, Nigeria won the war and later had to hand Bakassi over as previously agreed. Had Cameroun not co-operated, then Biafra would PROBABLY have defeated Nigeria. It was a PAINFUL but NECESSARY price to pay to defend the rest of the country.
    The people of Bakassi are now legally Camerounians with historical ties to Nigeria. In the alternative they may wish to relocate to the Nigerian territory allocated for their resettlement by OBJ’s government.

    • austin

      When Gowen left Langtang and was ceding Bakassi, did he in any way, form, or style consult the Bakassi people? Considering that his war slogan was that Nigeria must remain One, how could he achieve that by removing a part?
      There are always alternatives in closing a negotiation. Gowon should pray harder.

    • Prospekt arty

      Who says Biafra would have won the war? They were already losing. It was just a strategic move by Gowon to strangulate the Biafran regime. In wars you have to pull out all the stops, unfortunately Bakassi was a huge sacrifice to make.

  • OkonOnonokpono

    This is Obasanjo’s legacy for the people of the region, he should be held responsible for these killings

  • moribund9ja

    BAKASSI IS BIAFRAN TERRITORY
    ===========================

    The issue is that Bakassi doesn’t belong to Cameroun and neither to Nigeria. Bakassi peninsula is Biafran Territory and shall remain so.

    It is therefore by formal designation an ‘occupied territory’ in international law.

    It must be noted that the criminal ceding of Bakassi land and territorial waters to Cameroun by the Zoo called Nigeria, orchestrated by Obasanjo and sealed by ICJ was outrightly null and void and will never stand.

    By the time Biafra is restored very soon, Bakassi will be reclaimed officially.

    All historical documents related to Bakassi are intact in the Biafran archives.

    We shall see.

    • “The issue is that Bakassi doesn’t belong to Cameroun and neither to Nigeria. Bakassi peninsula is Biafran Territory and shall remain so.”
      What? Has the people of Bakassi decided in a referendum to join Biafra? Hello no!
      Now I see why you made the earlier comments on Fashola…it appears evil intended and I will not read anything you write again or ignore it.

      • moribund9ja

        I’m not posting anything for you here….. so be enjoying your ignorance if you don’t know that all those areas are Biafran Territory and even produced Biafran Army Chief of Staff Gen Philip Effiong. and the famous Okoko Ndem of Biafra radio of 1967 and several commanders of Biafran military.
        So die in your ignorance.

        • Ignoramus!
          Why the entire world is discussing how to create and produce more foods and wealth for their peoples, my Nigerian family thinks destroying what’s left of Nigeria is their best cause. I wish I have the opportunity to debate this Kanu guy on Nigerian television. I will not be upset or fight him but I will expose his ignorance to the beautiful Igbo people of Nigeria and by the way my wife is Igbo – you cannot accuse me of hate because I love my fellow Igbo family.

      • Prospekt arty

        Youre absolutely right! these so called Biafrans are deluded! They also think that everyone in South Eastern Nigeria and the Niger Delta would want to live under a Biafran state. They should wake up and smell the coffee. People in the south south have never voted for Igbo led political parties, so there’s no way they’ll vote to be part of Biafra if there was a referendum. It will be exchanging one oppressor for another. If push comes to shove the peoples of Cross River, Akwabom, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states will go their own separate ways. The truth is that the Igbos need the people of the south south more than they need the Igbos. Without access to the oil and gas and a sea ports in ijaw, effik- Ibibio, Urhobo and Itsekiri lands the Biafran dream will crash. Sorry those ethnic groups have nothing in common with the Igbos other than being near or distant neighbours within the same country. Its unimaginable to think the Urhobos, Isokos, itsekiri or Western Ijaws will ever accept Biafran rule. They were never part of it in the first place.

    • Prospekt arty

      Shut the fuck up! When did anyone outside of Igboland decide to join Biafra? Keep on dreaming on!

      • moribund9ja

        Ask your father who is Philip Effiong.,…mumu

        • Prospekt arty

          Effiong is irrelevant today! Just because he was an Effik traitor aligning himself with Ojukwu doesn’t mean he represents the will of the cross River and Akwaibom people. He was merely an opportunist looking to seize power for himself and Ojukwu. You should use your head and stop thinking by like an illiterate. Nigeria of today isn’t the same as the 1960s, people are far better educated and are not going to sit there and allow Biafran revanchism to claim their lands because of one Phillip Effiong. And sorry Igbos might worship their big men but a lot of other nationalities do not put their leaders on a pedestal. Just because Effiong did or said something 50 years ago doesn’t make it relevant today. He was acting for himself and was never appointed or elected by the people of cross River or Akwaibom