Over 20 suspected Bakassi militants on Friday invaded the Cross River State Governor’s office in Calabar, apparently to express anger over alleged abandonment of the Bakassi returnees by the government.
The group, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, arrived the state’s seat of power shortly after the Deputy Governor, Ivara Esu, reported for duties.
A source, who pleaded not to be named because she is not authorized to speak on the matter, said the suspected militants invaded the Government House at about 10am and for several hours held Mr. Esu and the staff hostage.
According to the source, the daredevil militants boldly told the people that they belonged to the Bakassi Volunteer Force.
It’s leader, who gave his name as “Capon,” boasted that his group were out to compel the government to release their monthly amnesty stipend, which has been withheld for several months.
He noted that the decision to stage the blockade was unanimously taken by the group to draw global attention to the deplorable way the Bakassi indigenes had been treated by the present administration in the state and country.
The Capon insisted that Bakassi people, who were displaced when Nigeria handed over their ancestral homes to the Republic of Cameroon, were being treated like slaves by government.
He explained that the group had in the past made several efforts to dialogue with the government but said the governor showed no interest in dealing with the problem facing them.