6 June 2020
The Cross River State Government (CRSG) has handed over keys to a two bedroom apartment to Madam Nkoyo Akpan Uko, one of the displaced Bakassi people, signifying handing over of the housing units to the refugees.
Sen. Florence Ita Giwa made the presentation at the housing estate in Ifiang Ayong, Bakassi LGA.
The well furnished apartment recently completed by governor Ben Ayade to ameliorate the housing chanllege of the refugees was handed over to the octogenarian with the sum of N500,000 earlier promised by the governor.
During the presentation, Sen. Ita Giwa who is also the chairman, allocation committee said she was delighted that governor has fulfil his promise.
She said the initial security challenge around the housing estate which earlier hindered the handing over has been put in place.
"I am very happy that today, the promise made by the governor has been fulfilled. This woman can now move into her home with the improved security situation here she can now live here in peace and the N500,000 cash here which the governor has given, we have thought it wise to open an account with the Cross River micro finance bank for her".
Madam Uko who said she has been in the IDP camp for over 7 years was full of praises to governor Ben Ayade.
She spoke in her native dialect, expressing joy to the governor and Senator Ita Giwa for coming to her rescue.
"I don't have anyone in this world and no where to go to. I want to thank our mother, Sen. Ita Giwa for all she has been doing for us right from when we were driven out of our homes. I also thank the governor who God has used to help provide shelter over my head".
However this development has inspired further remarks as some have queried whether Madam Uko is the only beneficiary. Social Commentator Ini Imah said recently, 'My question now is: Is this woman the only beneficiary in the Bakassi house gift project? Why is she the only one being used in making a statement and proving a point? There's something fishy going on. Why are they using only this aged woman in all their campaigns? Where are the other beneficiaries?'.
This development is a confirmation of the controversy that was sparked by journalist Agba Jalingo who disclosed that neither madam Uko nor any other Nigerian in Bakassi was given any house or cash gift. Anthony Bissong Attah of the Young Progressive Party, YPP said: 'Due to our pressure, our 80 years old grandma has finally been allocated an apartment in the 52 housing units in Bakassi plus cash. YPP has already gone far in her plans to build and furnish a befitting accommodation for her. Na who say agitation no de help? Thanks to Governor Benedict Ayade, Mma Giwa and all well meaning Cross Riverians who added their voices to this serious issue. Now that this matter is finally settled, can Mma Giwa and Agba Jalingo sheath their sword? I love Cross River State'.