By Emmanuel Aziken
ABUJAâ€”All three Senators and eight members of the House of Representatives from Cross River State yesterday declared a two week hunger strike to protest what they claimed as the unjust transfer of seventy-six oil wells from the State.
The legislators at a briefing yesterday lamented that the transfer of the oil wells, coming after the contentious transfer of Bakassi to Cameroon was another way of relegating their rights in the country.
The legislators led by Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw (PDP, Cross River South), the chairman of the Cross River National Assembly caucus said the transfer of the oil wells to Akwa Ibom State was strange in the sense that there was no boundary dispute between the two States.
They further asserted that it was strange that while Bakassi was transferred to Cameroon from Cross River that the oil wells from the State were taken to Akwa Ibom.
Senator Ewa-Henshaw was flanked by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) and all eight members of the House of Representatives from the State. The legislators vowed that at the end of the two week hunger strike they would review their positions if their demands were not positively addressed.
â€œThis action is despicable, unwholesome and a calculated attempt to defraud and deprive the good people of Cross River State of their natural endowment with a long standing genealogical antecedents. T
he decision of the International Court of Justice has left the State with festering refugee crisis, caused substantial social dislocations, and inflicted a heavy financial burden and a deep seated scar on the psyche of the people.
â€œIt should be stated that this was not by any act of omission or commission by the people of Cross River. But sadly they are being made to pay an even higher price for this sad chapter in the nationâ€™s history. Some people are determined to add insult to our injury”.
This is unfortunate. After deep reflection, we have come to the conclusion that it will be insensitive for us to pretend that all is well when our people feel the full weight of deprivation occasioned by the wicked and illegal denial of resources which should rightly accruable to them.
â€œSince some greedy brigands would rather see our people starve to death and our State brought to its knees, we as their representatives have decided to stand in unity with them. To sink or swim with them. We will therefore, beginning immediately, embark on a two week hunger strike to emphasize the seriousness of this situation and the collective pain we feel. But we must warn that the people of Cross River have had enough. They have been pushed far enough.â€™â€™
â€œThey now have their back to a concrete wall and can go no further. It is unacceptable that they should be cheated, abused, degraded and deprived simply because they are honest law abiding, peace loving, accommodating and responsible people.
In 2005, the boundary between Cross River and Akwa Ibom was delineated to the satisfaction of both states. All the critical factors taken into consideration, RMAFC and the present leadership of the National Boundary Commission should in the overriding interest of peaceful coexistence between the two States retrace its steps and abide by the 2005 boundary delineation exercise.