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Ayade kicks off construction of 5,000 housing units for Bakassi returnees

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar
27 February 2017   |   3:34 am
Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has flagged off the construction of 5,000 housing units for the displaced people of Bakassi.

Ben Ayade

Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has flagged off the construction of 5,000 housing units for the displaced people of Bakassi.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary and Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Christian Ita, said the governor performed the groundbreaking for the construction of 5,000 housing units on Saturday. It was funded by the Africa Nations Development Programme (ANDP) in partnership with the state government.

Ayade said the 5,000 housing units at Ikpa Nkanya village, Ikot Eyo ward in Akpabuyo local government area resulted from his weeping openly before international organisations and institutions. He stressed the need for all to come together to make life more meaningful for the people.

“The Bakassi people have been dislocated from their ancestral homes, denied the pleasure of worship and decent accommodation, reduced in want and in spirit just because they are not strong enough to fight back. I come as a child from that humble beginning to say that we must all come together to make a difference and that difference must start now,” he said.

The governor insisted that he would not want a groundbreaking ceremony that would take a longer time to start.

“While we wait for ANDP, Cross River will also give the stimulus so that ANDP will recognise the fact that they have attracted us to support them. We must all come together and prove that indeed, we have come to support them not just by doing the groundbreaking but also getting to the ground and starting the construction proper,” he added.

To this end, Ayade announced that construction work will start at the site on February 27. He added that “on Thursday, March 2, which is my birthday, I am going to spend the day with my brothers and sisters that have been displaced by the government of Nigeria that showed little care but much disdain for humanity.”

Director General of ANDP, Samson Omojuyigbe, lauded the government and people of Cross River State for being the first beneficiary of the project, which involves 5000 units of modern two bedroom houses, hospitals, schools, Church, shopping mall, market and fire station, among others.

He said: “Our interest is to check poverty which is a complex phenomenon indicated in the inability of man to survive.”

Country Director of ANDP, Thomas Ajikwa, said: “The ANDP works with the less privileged, indigent and excluded people in Africa, promoting values and commitment in civil society, institutions and governments with the aim of achieving structural changes to eradicate injustice and poverty in Africa.”