The Cross river people of Ekpri Obutong in Bakassi local government area now live in fear over the continuous attack by an armed bandit who has taken over the rambling estate built for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) in the area.
The estate is bordered by Nigeria and Cameroon, close to Ikang, was built for Bakassi IDP’s, where the crime rate as increased in the area as the inhabitants are continually robbed.
At his Ekpri Obutong palace, HRH Chief Ekpo Asuquo, said: “We regret allowing the government to build that estate; we regret every inch of that decision. I wish we could rescind that decision or turn back the hands of time.
We now live in fear like rats in a hole. We live in bondage and my people are no longer free. We are attacked almost every day, our women and children are raped, there is an increase in crime and we don’t know what to do anymore.”
The village head lamented that all their entreaties to the government and security agencies had not yielded any positive result. Ekpo said: “If it were possible for us to demolish the estate for us to have peace and tranquillity, we would have done so.
We accepted the construction of the estate so that we can accommodate our brothers who were chased away by Cameroon but today, our kind gesture has turned into a curse.
SOS to Governor Ayade “We want to use this opportunity to appeal to the governor, Prof. Ben Ayade to help us here by allowing either soldiers or policemen to take over or put burglaries in the houses and also chase out those nefarious elements who have taken over the place.
“We have set up vigilante several times but because these boys are well armed, they fire at us and sometimes they even kill us because what we have are machetes but they have guns. We need help before it is too late.
About 95 percent of the hoodlums are not our indigene, we don’t know their fathers, and we don’t know where they are from.” The distressed monarch added: “a lot of the genuine occupants are no longer living there, just about five percent of them are there, and people are vacating the estate daily for safety and security reasons because they know their lives are at risk.
“Just a few days ago, a serving corps member was attacked and her assailant after robbing her in her apartment still raped her. This is what they do to so many women and children here, and I don’t blame the Police because they are trying but we need the Cross River State government to remove these criminal elements completely from amongst us. We are ever ready to cooperate because we sleep with our two eyes open.”
We are ever ready to cooperate because we sleep with our two eyes open.”