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400 Bakassi natives arrive Nigeria with tales of woes

ByJohn Ighodaro
CALABAR—No fewer than 400 returnees from the ceded Bakassi Peninsula have arrived Nigeria  with gory tales of inhuman treatment meted to them by the Cameroonian gendarmes.

Speaking to newsmen at Ikang in Cross River State, the displaced persons mostly fishermen, said they had been undergoing torture in the hands of the gendarmes since the ceding of Bakassi.

They revealed that many Nigerians have died as a result of the recent attack on them by the Cameroonian gendarmes, and that they had to flee the area to avoid being hurt or killed.

Some of the returnees, however, had been deeply hurt. They displayed wounds sustained as a result of the torture from gendarmes. They claimed that their tormentors used clubs, belts and knives on them especially when they failed to comply with their unwarranted demands for huge sums of money.

They said even when they complied with  extortion, their fishing boats and nets were often destroyed at the whim of the gendarmes.

In a remark, the Special Adviser to the Governor on State Security Adviser, Mr. Bassey Okim expressed surprise at the unhappy situation, noting that Nigerians living in Cameroon have tried to abide by the laws of the land and wondered why they were still subjected to such inhuman treatment by the Cameroonian gendarmes.

At Ikang, however, the Director General, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Vincent Aquah (MON) assured them of adequate attention while in camp.

He assured them that the machinery of the agency was already in motion to ensure accommodation, feeding and other necessary comfort for the victims.


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