Ita-Giwa asks FG to resettle displaced Bakassi indigenes – Punch …

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Nonye Ben-Nwankwo

A former senator of the federal republic of Nigeria, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa has called on the Federal Government to urgently resettle the people of Bakassi in Cross Rivers State who are currently living in displaced camps.

Ita-Giwa made this call in Lagos when a group of Nigerian women, under the aegis of Concerned Women and Mothers in Nigeria, urged Nigerians to embrace peace, unity and progress as the country marks the 57th Independence anniversary on Sunday.

According to the Senator, who is also the spokesperson for the group, it’s high time the government did something concerning the current state of the displaced persons, not only in those in Bakassi but every other displaced persons, as most of them now procreate and die in the camps.

“As mothers and grandmothers, we will be failing in our duty if we refrain from identifying with the agony of millions of Nigerians who through no fault of theirs, have to eke out a living in displaced persons camps all over the country.

“While some people end up in these camps as a result of violence and insurgency, others are there as a result of natural disasters. Whatever the case may be, we call on the authorities to work for their speedy return to their homes. We also urge the authorities to treat them with the required dignity while they endure encampment.”  She said.

Ita-Giwa, while also talking about the state of the nation, said Nigerian women are concerned about the current state of affairs in the country and “decided to lend our voices to the many passionate voices advocating for peace and progress for our country.”

While stressing the group is not affiliated to any political party, Ita-Giwa said the main aim of the group is to ensure that unity reigns in the country again.

“Many of us here are living witnesses to the horrors of the Nigerian Civil war between 1967 and 1970. Two million innocent souls were lost in that war. We lost spouses, fathers, and siblings and loved ones. Many of us lost three years of our lives and our parents had to start life afresh at the end of the war.

“We therefore caution the misguided advocates of secession to tone down the rhetoric. It is obvious these people never experienced the last civil war and they have no knowledge of the consequences of war. Employing inciting words and denigrating others in speeches for the dubious purpose of gaining relevance has grave repercussions, we passionately call on such persons to stop.

“We understand the pervasiveness of the issue has forced the FG to deploy the armed forces to different parts of the country for the maintenance of law and order. We however caution that proper rules of engagement be strictly adhered to by the deployed troops and human right of citizens be protected.

Ita-giwa said the group has noted the efforts of the federal and some state governments to diversify the economic base of Nigeria.

“The emphasis on developing the non-oil sector is gratifying to note. However, we believe the prompt execution of our national budget will go a long way in stimulating the economy.  Since the government is still the major catalyst of economic activity in Nigeria, the delay in implementing the national budget has the effect of stifling economic activity,” she said.

Also speaking during the conference, the former deputy governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu urged aggrieved parties to sheath their swords and embrace peace in the country.

“Our unity is our strength. If you feel you are marginalised, you can complain in a good way and you don’t have to call for secession. Nigerian women call for peaceful coexistence and unity of Nigeria,” she said.

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