By Chioma Onuegbu
Internally-displaced persons, IDPs, in Bakassi Peninsula have protested the abduction of four of their community leaders by Cameroonian gendarmes.
In a protest letter to Akwa Ibom State Coordinator of National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, the National and International Coordinator of Bakassi Returnees and Displaced Nigerian Citizens, Prince Joseph Inyang, identified the leaders as Bassey Ikoedem Utong, Ndung Ekpenyong Ndung, Joseph Ekpenyong Isang and Asukwo Isuo Atteh
Inyang, in a statement, alleged that the leaders were abducted 12 days ago and taken to unknown destinations by the gendarmes.
He described the abduction of the community leaders as the height of the wanton abuse of their human rights and unnecessary extortion by the Cameroonian authorities.
The statement read: “Till date, nobody knows their whereabouts and their crayfish, fish and other sea foods were forcefully seized from them at Abunja area of Cameroon.”
He called on government at all levels and relevant human rights groups to intervene to ensure that the victims were rescued alive, alleging that the sum of N594,000 was being demanded for the victims’ release.
He disclosed that even some natural boundaries and Nigerian territories including Ataobong community have been renamed to bear Cameroonian names, while local Nigerian chiefs were replaced by Cameroonians.
His words: “Nigerians from Bakassi Peninsula had cried out about one month ago over forceful eviction by the Cameroonian authorities for unwarranted taxation and levies, but we are yet to see any action from our government.”