About 2,100 internally displaced Bakassi refugees have received free medical care and cash gift from the Neo Black Movement (NBM) of Africa which visited the IDP camp as part of its activities to mark its 40th anniversary and 39th annual general meeting.
In a statement made available to journalists yesterday, the President of the movement, Mr. Felix Kupa, who led the team to the Ikot Eyo camp of the refugees, told the refugees that his organisation outside fighting for justice and equality in the society also embarks on social and humanitarian activities to meet the welfare of the less privileged during its annual convention which accounts for the medical outreach.
According to him in the statement, â€œWe are here as part of our social responsibility as an organisation which believes in the welfare of the people. So, during our annual convention, we visit places like prisons, orphanage homes to make humble contributions and here in Cross River State we are aware that you are going through hardship because you have been displaced since 2013 from your ancestral homes, and to assuage your pains, we have come to visit you and make some donations.â€
Kupa said the trip was also to attend to the basic aliments like diabetes, high bold pressure and malaria â€œbecause those are the most prevalent in the society and the drugs dispensed to those who underwent tests and diagnosis and found to be suffering from any of those ailment by the medical team should take their drugs given them in order to improve their health.â€
The leader of the group said over N3 million was spent to purchase the drugs to ensure everyone gets adequate dosage to address his or her case while the sum of N500,000 is to help them meet their basic financial needs, particularly the aged who cannot no longer work to make a living.
â€œGovernment cannot be left to do everything as individuals or organisations which are well off should from time to time extend assistance to the less privileged, and that is why we are here to donate half a million naira to help you meet your basic needs especially the aged among you who cannot work again,â€ he stated.
The camp leader, Etim Okon Edet, said inmates of the camp have been dying in large number owing to poverty and diseases, and commended the movement for the visit and assured them that money would be adequately distributed to the different groups and families in the camp.
He said the Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has regularly visited the camp and provided welfare packages to the inmates but more still need to be done as the level of poverty and diseases has increased among the people owing to the many years of neglect.
In his submission, a representative of the state government and Director of relief, in the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Andy Akpotu-Adeshi, commended the efforts of NBM towards alleviating the plight of the refugees, and praised the movement for supporting the initiative of the state government to improve the living conditions of the IDP and assured them of the state government partnership to continue to work with them.