The Bakassi returnees have besieged the Cross River state Ministry of Social Welfare and Community Development demanding for their monthly stipends. The state government has been paying each of the Bakassi returnees N5, 000 unconditional cash transfer but for two years and three months now the people have not been paid.
Protesting yesterday in Calabar, the returnees numbering close to 50 claimed that the state government owed them monthly stipends for over two years and the best they can do was to besiege the office demanding for their money.
The leader of returnees, Mr. Duke Bassey of Ata-Ima in Bakassi local government, who protested said besides the nonpayment, government has denied them foodstuff for over two years. “Over two years now, government has not paid us nor given us food.
As we protested, the officers and the Police at the premises of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Community Development, next door to Governor Ben Ayade’s office, addressed us in a very civil manner”, Bassey said.
The leader of the protesters who said he was a successful fisherman whilst in Bakassi before the succeeding said they were selected to travel all the way to Calabar to remind government authorities about their plight.
“Two years and three months now, government has stopped the monthly conditional cash transfer of N5, 000 alongside food items that the state government used to assist us with. This is now badly affecting us. Our children no longer attend school. We cannot afford medical attention. We have no food to eat. The camps have become too congested.
-Edem Edem, Calabar