BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Chairman of Bakassi local government Area, Hon. Iyadim Amboni Iyadim has described “as unfortunate” the high level of arson, vandalism and destructions of public and private property as well as institutions in the council by hoodlums under guise of ENDSARS protesters.
According to Iyadim, prominent amongst some of the projects completely vandalized are the fully furnished 52 unit housing project, including all amenities recently commissioned by Governor Ayade to ease accommodation problem of Bakassi returnees, the council secretariat that was upgraded to a smart office, first east of the Niger with modern facility in line with current realities and all health facilities in the area.
Others are the only standard secondary school with well equipped computer, physics and Biology laborites and a divisional Police Office.
Addressing newsmen shortly after undertaking an assessment tour of the vandalized facilities, he lamented the level of destruction, saying “it is a colossal loss to the government and people of the area, adding that, the act has brought Bakassi ten years backward as it will take humongous resources to rebuild the damaged institutions across the council area”.
Accompanied by leader of Legislature, Hon Pastor Emmanuel Effiong, his Deputy, Mrs. Lawrencia Ita, and other top government functionaries, the chairman who was physible broken, stated that, “I’m not happy because the idea of building these housing units was to ameliorate the suffering of our people as conceived by His Excellency Sir Ben Ayade without support from the Federal Government.”
He said, “Ayade did this out of passion to demonstrate his fatherly love for our people in the face of dwindling resources and most times with zero allocation to the state but the today, all his effort and investment has gone without been utilize”.
The governor, Iyadim stressed, “took the project so personal as was testified by his regular visits to site from foundation level to its completion. We all have put in our best to ensure that the project was delivered on record time; a world class model of housing estate not found anywhere around Nigeria but today here we are, completely vandalised in the name of ENDSARs protest, the newly constructed housing has been reduced to rubbles.”
He rued that “all the facilities have been completely vandalized; the electricity, water and the operation of a calculated one, demolishing from house to house and looting all the furniture, it’s quite unfortunate we are where we are today.”
While lamenting the ill treatments the people of Bakassi has pass through since the peninsula was ceded in 2002, Iyadim maintained that, “It is true that the Federal Government has been releasing resources to support our course but we don’t know where those monies were channel to.”
Unsatisfied by the way resources meant to develop the area have been expended, the chairman said, “Let me use this opportunity to call on the federal to probe these resources because up till now we cannot see any tangible presence of federal government here in Bakassi. As a returnee, refugee and sitting chairman of the council and I don’t have a place of my own, it is so unfortunate I must say.”
The housing project he said, “was to carter to the aged and few youths to get settled and plan their lives while those of us who can still garner strength to move will tarry till when government fully resettled us but now we have to start again from the scratch because even residents of the estate have all fled and we don’t know where they are as we speak.I pray they all return alive.
On plans to rebuild the damaged institutions and well as compensation to private property owners Iyadim called on the federal government as well as the International Committee to come to the aid of the council which he noted is susceptible to attack by directing relevant agencies see to the rebuilding process to bring back socio-economic lives of the people.