Group seeks plebiscite on Bakassi

A group, under the aegis of Association of Bakassi Aborigines (ABA), has called on the Federal Government and the United Nations to, as a matter of urgency, conduct a plebiscite for the displaced people of Bakassi.

National President of the group, Maurice Bassey Asuquo, in an interview with newsmen in Calabar, said the call became necessary in view of the sufferings faced by the displaced people; ten years after a judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ceded their ancestral home to the Republic of Cameroon.

Asuquo said conducting a plebiscite was a good option which would afford the displaced people the opportunity to choose which country they wanted to belong.

He specifically called on the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Nigerian government to expediently conduct a plebiscite for the displaced people in order to restore lasting peace to the troubled territory.

“We agree that there was a plebiscite of 1961, but then such a plebiscite is long outdated because even after the plebiscite, the territory was still occupied by Nigerians with no complaint until about 1997 when Cameroon went to court.

“It is also necessary to grant amnesty to misguided youths who have been forced to take up arms as there’s no problem that cannot be solved through dialogue, even though these youths have been misled into carrying arms.

This is even as he called for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Bakassi so as to put an end to the intimidation and harassment of residents by soldiers.

“Though the Federal Government has the right to protect lives and property in the area, the drafting of troops can only be done when there is agitation. The constant presence of the military in the area is making lives unbearable for the residents