Militant group known as Bakassi Strike Force has called on the Nigeria Federal Government to reclaim the ceded Bakassi Peninsular from Cameroon or it would be forced to take up arms, Daily Post Nigeria reports.
The group in a boat-display, brandishing all kinds of weapons on Friday at Esighi axis of Bakassi, in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State lamented the neglect of Bakassi people by the Nigeria Federal Government and other local and international stakeholders.
Speaking during the display, leader of the group, General Simple also known as Humble Lion said the people of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states have been sidelined by the Nigeria Federal Government in the amnesty programme.
According to Simple, “The Bakassi Strike Force is an indigenous group made up of youths from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, totalling 642 foot soldiers.
“You will agree with me that Akwa Ibom and Cross River states are part of the Niger Delta region, yet we have been completely sidelined from the amnesty scheme and other empowerment programmes for the youth of the area.
“Yet it will interest you to note that it is in Obubra, Cross River State that the team of Niger Delta militants was hosted, when states such as Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Ondo refused to host the rehabilitation camp for the militants.
The group accused the Federal Government of ceding the oil rich Bakassi to Cameroon, stressing that the indigenes and habitants were not consulted before the area was ceded.
“To make matters worse, after taking over our land, the Cameroonian forces began to harass and molest our people. They even levied us with heavy taxes which became entirely unbearable.
“Therefore, when it became obvious after several petitions that the federal and state governments were not ready to protect us and even the United Nations, we invited our Ijaw brothers who were already in the arms struggle to resist the Cameroonian operatives, but unfortunately, they embraced Federal Government amnesty programme when it was offered and abandoned us.
“As indigenous youths, we have no other option than rise to defend and defend ourselves from the operations and injustice from the Cameroonian forces. The Federal Government should reclaim Bakassi from Cameroon,” he added.