All is now set by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State to seek a review of the Supreme Court decision which transferred ownership of 76 oil wells from Cross River State to neighboring Akwa Ibom State.
Ayade’s decision is made known by the leader of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey while addressing indigenes of Bakassi who led a protest to the Assembly complex to express their displeasure over loss of 76 oil wells to a neighboring state.
Odey, who spoke to the indigenes of Bakassi alongside Elizabeth Ironbar, member representing Bakassi in the Assembly and Hon. Mathew Olory stressed that the ceding of the oil wells remains a mystery to the people of Bakassi stressing that the loss of the wells did not just put economic hardship to the indigenes of the area alone but but has brought hardship to the entire state.
Odey said, “The issue like you said of the 76 oil wells is an issue that remains a mystery to even us as lawmakers, and I want to quote the governor of Cross River State when he said himself that he was going to ask the Supreme Court of Nigeria to review their own judgment because it is only the Supreme Court of Nigeria that can upturn that judgment.
“The 76 oil wells was not only taken from Bakassi but taken from Cross River State and all the local government areas of the state are suffering from the injustice that was done and like they say, injury to one is an injury to all, so we support your movement and thank you for remaining peaceful”.
On the issue of proper delineation of the Bakassi State constituency, the lawmaker urged youths come up with memo that will be sent to the independent Electoral Commission INEC adding that it is only INEC who got the power to delineate constituencies stressing that issues pertaining to constituency delineation goes beyond powers of the Cross River State House of Assembly.
The Leader of the CRHA said,“So the youths should, in a peaceful manner like they have come here today, they should use that peaceful manner to appeal to INEC and if possible take a legal action against INEC”,
Earlier in his remarks, the group spokesperson, an indigene of Akpankaya ward in Bakassi, LGA, Mr. Kingsley Asuquo, stressed that they took the decision to take to the streets to because of the suffering which they are going through as a result the ceding of the oil wells a situation that has forced them into destitution.
In his words Asuquo said,“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 Day Spring and vote, they now say the votes in Ikang is for Akpabuyo”.