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Ex-Bakassi militants block Cross River governor’s office, demand MoU implementation

By Anietie Akpan (Calabar) and Monday Osayande (Asaba)
26 October 2021   |   1:56 am
• Women barricade road over alleged relocation of market Former Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) militants, yesterday, barricaded gates leading to the Cross River State Governor’s Office, demanding full implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Federal Government, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. At about 8:00 a.m., the militants, mostly in black…

• Women barricade road over alleged relocation of market

Former Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) militants, yesterday, barricaded gates leading to the Cross River State Governor’s Office, demanding full implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Federal Government, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States.

At about 8:00 a.m., the militants, mostly in black shirts and carrying fresh leaves, stormed the Governor’s Office and blocked the road, denying access to vehicles and persons. Some threatened to pull down the gates but were prevailed upon by colleagues not to do so.

The protesters, led by one Timaya, denounced the alleged non-payment of money they were supposed to have received since December 2018.

“This government should have allowed us to remain where we were, rather than bringing us to come and suffer. We are not going anywhere until the governor settles us. This government is not sincere with the amnesty. Government must pay us our money today!” Timaya said.

He added: “Since 2018, the governor has reneged on the agreement. After we laid down our arms in December 2018, we went for training and the governor promised that we were going to be given starter packs and be integrated into the system. Instead of fulfilling his promise, the governor went and put up a signpost in Bakassi to say he has paid us. He has since refused to attend to us and we are very angry.”

The Permanent Secretary, Special Services in the Governor’s Office, Mr. Alfred Mboto, however, pleaded with the protesters, saying Governor Ben Ayade was working on their case and would soon meet with their leaders to sort things out.

ALSO, angry market women numbering about 100 blocked the East-West Road in Ughelli North Council of Delta State, in protest against a move to relocate them to Okogbe Road.

The women reportedly held up traffic for hours, defying plea by Local Council Chairman, Godwin Adode to disperse. One trader, Mrs. Rose Edede, complained: “They said none of us should come to the market again, that anybody caught selling will have her goods seized. They said we should relocate to Okogbe Road, that they have provided a space for us there. But when we got there, the place was a swamp. To do anything there, you will have to fill it. We don’t have that kind of money because we are petty traders. They are just trying to use us to fill the place and afterwards chase us away.”