Another crisis may be brewing in the ever restive Niger Delta, as militants numbering over 600, Friday, demanded that the Federal Government reclaim the ceded Bakassi Peninsular from Cameroon.
The militant group, known as Bakassi Strike Force, aka Esighi Group, said apart from not being carried along before, during and after the ceding process, the indigenes of Bakassi have been neglected by the Federal Government and other local and international stakeholders.
They condemned the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers in blowing up pipelines, asserting, that these attacks have a retrogressive effect on the economy of Nigeria.
The group however called on the Federal Government to listen to the agitations of the Avengers, adding, that there is no struggle without a reason
The group which said they would be ready to embrace dialogue with the federal government if amnesty was extended to them, insisted that the federal government sidelined the people of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states in the amnesty programme.
The leader of the group, known as General Simply, aka Humble Lion, who read from a prepared speech, said, “The Bakassi Strike Force is an indigenous group made up of youths from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, totaling 642 foot soldiers.
“You will agree with me that Akwa Ibom and Cross River states are part of the Niger Delta region, yet we have been completely sidelined from the amnesty scheme and other empowerment programmes for the youth of the area.
“Yet it will interest you to note that it is in Obubra, Cross River State that the team of Niger Delta militants was hosted, when states such as Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Ondo refused to host the rehabilitation camp for the militants.
“Again, the Federal Government took away our oil rich Bakassi from us and handed over to Cameroon. We as indigenes and habitants were not consulted before this was done, neither were there any constitutional resettlement process initiated for the displaced persons.
“To make matters worse, after taking over our land, the Cameroonian forces began to harass and molest our people. They even levied us with heavy taxes which became entirely unbearable.
“Therefore, when it became obvious after several petitions that the federal and state governments were not ready to protect us and even the United Nations, we invited our Ijaw brothers who were already in the arms struggle to resist the Cameroonian operatives, but unfortunately, they embraced Federal Government amnesty programme when it was offered and abandoned us.
“As indigenous youths, we have no other option than rise to defend and defend ourselves from the operations and injustice from the Cameroonian forces. The Federal Government should reclaim Bakassi from Cameroon,” Simply said.
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