The displaced people of Bakassi in Cross River State have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to grant the state government a sovereign guarantee for the construction of its Deep Seaport project.
The deep seaport project embarked upon by Governor Ben Ayade recently attained a major milestone with the issuance of the Outline Business Case (OBC) certificate by the Federal Government.
They said the granting of the sovereign guarantee will help the realisation of the project, which according to them, will wipe away their tears from years of hardship occasioned by their displacement.
Noting that they will benefit the most from the project, the displaced Bakassi people are hopeful that “the construction of the project will make up for the many losses suffered by us and the state since the ceding of their ancestral homeland to Cameroon.”
Camped at Saint Marks Primary School in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state since 2013, the displaced Bakassi people say the project holds a new hope for them.
The deep seaport, according to them, “will open up new frontiers of opportunities for us and by extension, rewrite the stories of our ugly past occasioned by the ceding of our ancestral roots to the Republic of Cameroon.”
Speaking on the project, Blessing Edem urged President Buhari to assist the state realize the project.
“We are begging the Federal Government to give our governor, Sir Ben Ayade the power (sovereign guarantee) to enable him build the seaport. It will be of tremendous benefit to us here because our living condition at the moment is very bad,” she said.
Another displaced person, Anthony Oqua-Edem, believes the project will impact on them in the most positive manner.
His words: “We are pleading with the Federal Government to assist His Excellency, Sir Ben Ayade with granting a sovereign guarantee for the project. This is because the campers here, the youths of Bakassi will benefit from this project.
“This Project will create jobs and when there are jobs, we the returnees will help ourselves out. The youths of Bakassi will also be meaningfully engaged. They will have the means to take care of their needs.”
Speaking in like manner, Michael Bassey George, says the project will ameliorate their present condition, which is characterized by hunger and hopelessness.