NGO wants proper resettlement of Bakassi returnees
Rhema Care Integrated Development Centre, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the resettlement problem of displaced people of Bakassi.
Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Eric Shu, made the call while interacting with newsmen on Friday in Calabar.
Shu said that a permanent re-settlement of the returnees would not only give them a sense of belonging but reduce their involvement in other social vices.
“For quite a long time now, the issue of Bakassi has been relegated to the background and the whole attention of the Nigerian Government and the humanitarian community is focused on the North-East.
“This was why we decided to sponsor representatives of the Bakassi returnees to be part of the Abuja summit, so that government will know that the Bakassi returnees need their attention.
“The issue of Bakassi is coming back to the front burner. Government should know that the Bakassi people are real people with human face,’’ he said.
He said that his NGO started working with the Bakassi returnees in 2012 with a view to helping them to recover their source of livelihood and shelter.
Shu lamented that the displacement of the Bakassi people has destabilised the lives of the returnees economically, socially and psychologically.
“The Nigerian government needs to do more for the Bakassi returnees. As an NGO, we are also working with other international partners to ameliorate the plight of the people.
“Since 2012, over 200 Bakassi returnees have been trained by Rhema Care in different skill acquisition programmes like hair dressing, tailoring, catering, interior decoration and barbing,’’ he said.
Camp Leader of Bakassi returnees, Mr Etim Okon-Ene, who also spoke with the journalists, solicited the assistance of government especially, on the feeding of the people.
Okon-Ene disclosed that the returnees were camped at Enang Primary School in Aqua Ikot-Eyo-Edem community in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state.
“We need permanent resettlement; we are calling on government and other relevant agencies to come to our aid.
‘’The children in the camp no longer go to school because their parents cannot afford their bills.
“We are appealing to the government and other corporate organizations to respond to our plight,’’ he said.