We want our children to return to school – Bakassi Returnees


The head of the Bakassi Returnees in Cross River, Etim Ene, has appealed to the federal and Cross River Government to assist them return their children to school.

Mr Ene made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Wednesday.

He said, as displaced people, it was hard for them to afford the education of their children both at the primary and secondary school level.

“The government of Nigeria has been giving us relief materials and we are grateful, but we need our children to return to school and be trained to become leaders of tomorrow.

“The present situation of the Bakassi returnees and the environment makes it difficult for the children to attend school even though education is paramount in their lives.

“We are pleading with the government of Nigeria to see how children of displaced persons in Bakassi can be given scholarships from primary to the university levels,” he said.

Cross River State has about 111,204 registered displaced persons, according to the Director-General, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Princewill Ayim.

Mr Ayim said the state does not have the resources to take care of all of them at once.

“In Cross River at the moment, we have communal clashes over land, refugees’ situation and those affected by flood, as well as other natural disasters.

“The governor has been putting in a lot of efforts to ameliorate the situation, but the number is growing every day, making the situation complex,” he said.

Mr Ayim, however, commended organisations like the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency for their support to displaced persons, and appealed to others to do the same.

The Bakassi Peninsula, which was part of Cross River State and Akwa Ibom, was ceded to Cameroon on August 14, 2008, following a ruling by the International Court of Justice.

TEXEM

The federal government, since then, has embarked on several initiatives to effectively assist Nigerians displaced from that region.

(NAN)

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