By George Odok
The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) has donated food and non-food items to the Internally Displaced Persons of Bakassi Local Government Area in Cross River.
NCFRMI Federal Commissioner, Sen. Basheer Mohammed, inaugurated the distribution at the Federal Secretariat in Calabar with rice, beans, millet, palm oil, noodles, mattresses, mats, blankets and others.
Mohammed, who was represented by Mr Wachiko Abdulrahman, Director, Human Resource Management in the Commission, said that the Bakassi IDPs were persons of “concern”.
According to him, the Commission has the mandate from the Federal Government to provide succour for IDPs and refugees.
He said that recently, the Commission carried out the distribution in about 15 locations in Nigeria, adding that the Commission will do more in places where there are IDPs and refugees.
“The Commission is committed to ensuring that all the IDPs and refugees are taken care of in Nigeria.
“It is not easy for somebody to lose his house and livelihood, that is why the commission is doing all these to ameliorate their plights because they are Nigerians just like us.
“We have started creating resettlement cities in about three states already and we are doing more.
“We realise that the housing units that were constructed by the Cross River Government for the Bakassi IDPs were destroyed during the #EndSars protest.
“So, when we get back to Abuja, we are going to get back to the drawing board and ensure that we bring Cross River into that fold to benefit from the resettlement cities that is ongoing in some selected states right now,” he added.
Speaking, a former lawmaker, Sen. Florence Ita-Giwa, said that the Bakassi people want to be properly resettled with adequate basic amenities.
Ita-Giwa lauded the decision by the Commission to establish the resettlement city in Bakassi local government area for the IDPs.
“We are happy to receive these items for our people. We will ensure that the items are evenly distributed to those who need it most.
“People should stop using the name of Bakassi to get pecuniary benefits from organisations and establishments. I want to urge the Commission not to deal with any individual apart from the local government administration and the constituted authority,” she said.
The Chairman of Bakassi local government area, Mr Iyadim Iyadim, appealed to the Federal Government to properly resettle the people of Bakassi local government area.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Paul Etim, 48, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that their suffering had multiplied as a result of the destruction of their homes during the #EndSars protest on Oct. 24, 2020.
Etim, who thanked the Commission for the items, appealed to them to urgently commence the resettlement city with a view to provide another accommodation for them.