AUGUST 19TH, 2012
All appears not to be okay with the recent agitation by the Bakassi Self Determination Front (BSDF), the militant group which several days ago declared that it had commenced violent struggle for the liberation of the area from Cameroun.
Signs to this effect came to the fore on Friday when another group, the Bakassi Patriotic Front (BPF) – which claims to be the real militant wing representing the interest of the Bakassi people – reared its head. Acclaimed leader of the BPF, who gave his name as “General ” Ephriam Ekpe, said they decided to counter the BSDF because its activities had been at variance with the interest of the Bakassi people, who refused to move to Ikang, which they said is Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Ekpe, who made his position known through a signed statement made available to Sunday Independent, said the BPF would not allow the BSDF to enter Bakassi because their activities are already constituting a threat to the lives and property of those of them who have remained in the territory and have in recent times been working silently to reclaim it. The statement tagged, “Rejection of Bakassi Self Determination Front in Bakassi”, reads in part:
“We have watched in silence but with keen interest the moves by the Bakassi Self Determination Front to enter Abana and take over Bakassi. Let it be stated that they are impersonating as freedom fighters for the people of Bakassi. Where have they been since these years when we have been fighting in our own style to keep Bakassi, the land of our fathers? We will not let those gang sponsored by politicians who have been cheating us to step in Abana or any part of Bakassi.
“The so-called generals and militants should be warned to remain in Calabar, where they have been all these years. All the claims the youths who reside in Calabar , under the aegis of the so-called Bakassi Self Determination Front that they have entered any part of Bakassi, is nothing but propaganda that must be ignored by those who are truly fighting for the freedom of Bakassi.
“Very soon, the world will know who the real Bakassi patriots are and will take them serious as they march to reclaim their land and restore permanent peace in the land that God has given to our fathers and ancestors.”
The statement further claimed that since the BSDF commenced it activities, especially in the media, the lives of the Bakassi people who are still in their homes are being threatened and endangered as the Cameroun military have become more vigilant and circumspect in conducting checks and searches on Nigerians, especially the local villagers who are still residing in the peninsula. Aside the militants, the BPF officials claimed that they enjoy the support of the genuine leaders of the Bakassi people who have been offering them support.
Ekpe said in the next few days the BPF would fully establish itself as the true foot soldier of the Bakassi people that should be relied on. Efforts to get the reaction of the BSDF proved abortive as no contact could be established with one Commander-General Ekpe Ekpenyong Oku, the self professed leader of the BSDF, proved abortive.
But a politician from Bakassi who refused to be quoted said the BPF members are youths from Bakassi who have been compromised to fight against the interest of the Bakassi people. “What do you expect? Those who have taken everything and positions that belong to the Bakassi people must do everything possible to prevent the sons and daughters of Bakassi from reclaiming their land and their rights. Ephraim Ekpe cannot be from Bakassi, let alone be fighting for the liberation. He is fighting against the liberation of Bakassi. We know them and their antecedents. But, watch out, very soon God will disgrace them,” he said.
Recently, the BSDF established a radio station and hoisted a flag on Day Spring Island, near Calabar, signifying the declaration of war to reclaim Bakassi from Cameroun.