Monday, 22 May 2017

Sen. Geshom Bassey Pitches Tent against Ayade

|By Ukorebi Esien| 22 May,2017|

Senator representing Cross River South Senatorial district, Gershom Bassey, has strongly opposed Governor Ben Ayade's plan of adopting legal options in tackling the challenges facing the Bakassi people.

The governor who had earlier this month aired out his intention to drag the Federal government to court for a show of negligence of the sufferings of Cross Riverians due to the ceding of Bakassi and subsequent loss of oil wells.
 Ayade had made this known in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary and Special Assistant Media, Mr. Christian Ita, 

 “following the loss of Bakassi, its oil wells and the general loss the state government suffered with the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2002.

"The governor is even considering taking the Federal Government to court to the tune of over N3tr over the loss of Bakassi and its oil wells, because they did not follow any laid down procedure in international law in ceding Bakassi.”

In what looks like a direct response to Ayade's proposed plan of action, the Senator representing Southern Cross River Senatorial district which also covers Bakassi have said that a legal action on the issue of Bakassi is not the best option.

Speaking in an interview, Senator Geshom Bassey lamented the condition of the displaced people of Bakassi at Ikot Eyo Eden Camp in Akpabuyo LGA. 

He said their condition is deplorable, degrading, and subhuman and that there was an urgent need for a speedy resettlement plan to be in place for the internally displaced people of Bakassi.

According to him:

"I believe the Federal Government treated the issue of Bakassi with levity when it failed to appeal the ICJ judgment within the 10years  window of appeal. Be it as it may, it is my thinking that we should seek for a political solution to the issue of Bakassi rather than legal solution.
"What the Bakassi people need now is a properly negotiated resettlement plan and not a prolong legal battle that will still impoverish the people while it last"

The Senator observed that the people whose natural source of livelihood was fishing are now being subjected to farming techniques in order to survive, adding that “these occupational change and adaptation is posing a challenge to the Bakassi people.”
He said he had sponsored a motion last month titled, “A call for the proper resettlement and compensation of the Bakassi people” urging the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, properly resettle the Bakassi people through a participatory and properly negotiated resettlement programme.

This story first appeared on
Ukorebi Esien
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