The story of the Bakassi people will remain etched as one of the dark chapters of the last decade, not only in the annals of Nigerian history, but indeed in international chronicle.
A long-drawn political and subsequent legal battle between Nigeria and Cameroon over the Bakassi Peninsula, culminated in a 2002 resolution at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague in favour of Cameroon, setting off a chain of events that has altered the life of the people.
The relative speed with which the historic ceding of the territory and the displacement of the people was executed may remain a reference point on how not to make history, especially on the evidence of the state of things today.
The state of the resettlement camps, the continuing quest for the seemingly elusive permanent home, the seriously challenged resettlement programme mired by corruption, sabotage, mismanagement, and abandonment by all levels of government and the international community, all embody the sad outcome of the post-ICJ plan.
Concerned by troubling reports around the Bakassi people, Ripples Nigeria embarked on a far-reaching investigative mission to the area with the objective of casting light on the prevailing reality. The journey revealed Bakassi’s dark enclaves, amplifying the voices of those at the heart of the story, and holding to account those in whose power their fate rests.
The story of this forgotten despairing people searching for a reason to believe in the possibilities of the modern human order is to be presented in a three-part serial running Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
It promises to be a revealing read. Don’t miss it!
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