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The Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon Eteng Jonas Williams, has advised protesting youths of Bakassi local government area of Cross River State to sue the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to court over the non-delineation of wards and constituencies in Bakassi.
The Speaker, while addressing the youths who staged a peaceful protest at the House of Assembly on Tuesday, lamented the non-delineation of the ward and constituencies in the area and blamed INEC for denying the people an opportunity to exercise their franchise.
“I would advise you to do a memo to INEC because they are the people that have the power to do delineation of wards and constituencies, it is beyond the power of Cross River State House of Assembly, it’s even beyond the power of the Cross River State Government.
“The youths should use that peaceful manner to approach INEC, write to them, if possible, take a legal action against INEC, they are the people that have power to address the issue,” he advised.
The Speaker, who was represented by Hon Peter Odey from Ogoja State Constituency, said that the 76 oil wells remain a mystery to even the Assembly members, noting that the Governor of the state had said that he was going to visit and ask Supreme Court to review their judgement because it is only the supreme court of Nigeria that can upturn itself.
“The 76 oil wells were not only taken from Bakassi, it was taken from Cross River State, all the local government areas are suffering from that injustice, just like they say, injustice to one is injustice to all,” he said, and assured that the Cross River State House was going to look into what have been presented.
He commended the youths for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves and said “The Cross River State House of Assembly respects their views, right to carry out protests which we believe is the right thing to do and that the Cross River State House of Assembly stands with you on this”.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Kingsley Asuquo, leader of the group from Akpankaya ward in Bakassi, said they decided to stage the protest because they have been suffering following the ceding of the oil wells and have been rendered homeless in the country.
“Why we are protesting today is that the Bakassi people have been neglected, what belongs to us has been taken away from us, talking about the 76 oil wells. We have been rendered refugees in our country and the economic benefits of the youths have not been given to us and our rights so we want government to revisit the 76 oil wells and the marine boundary of cross river state and Akwa Ibom.
“Since the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon and the loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom, nothing has been done to the people of Bakassi, particularly the youths and the women. They moved us from Abana where the headquarters of Bakassi was before to Akpabuyo and they now divided three Ikang wards for the Bakassi people to stay there.
“They then went to the resettlement camp and built housing units for our people to stay there but nothing like economic benefits. They moved us to Ikang South which they now call Bakassi and whenever it is election time, that is when we know that we don’t belong to this place, we don’t just understand, they will move us to where they call DaySpring and vote, they now say the votes in Ikang is for Akpabuyo,” he lamented.
Source; Daily Post Nigeria