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I Am Blind Because Bakassi Returnees Defile Our Shrines, Clan Head Cries Out


THE clan head of Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem in Akpabuyo Local Government Council, Etinyin Edem, has decried the continuous camping of the Bakassi returnees in both the primary and secondary schools in his domain a year after they were displaced in Cameroon.

Edem, who is 80 years old, said because of the returnees, he has gone blind, explaining that since the returnees were brought to his domain, they have desecrated the community’s sacred shrines by going in search of food to keep them alive.

Edem told journalists in his palace in Ikot Edem Udo that until the gods of the land are appeased, he might live the rest of his life in blindness.

According to him, “when these people came here, government said they were going to take care of them. But for about nine months now, government has neither shown concern nor visited the place. Then they became hungry and went into sacred areas of the village in search of snails and other means of livelihood, just to survive. For entering those sacred shrines, the gods of our fathers have visited me with this blindness. I am paying for being generous to a displaced people.”’

He mentioned the shrines so far desecrated by the Bakassi returnees to include Obung Obot stream, Eme Abasi, Okongho Ekpat, Nsa Anwan and Iso Ekpenyong.

To appease the gods, he said the community will need N1.5 million, adding that the community will need she-goat, cocks and hens, white cloths, native chalks, bottles of schnapps, palm oil and tubers of yam to appease the gods. Others, according to him, include native eggs, breakable plates and bottles of mineral drinks.

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