Hey, I am Okoi Obono-Obla and I was pleasantly surprised as well as amazed when I read a statement credited to Senator Florence Ita Giwa alleging and accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of bias in his handling of the problems concerning the North Eastern Region and Bakassi!
In the first place there cannot be any comparison between the travails of the peoples of North East and Bakassi. The two issues are different and therefore any objective commentator must separate them and put or situate them in the proper perspective.
The travails of Bakassi Peninsula started in the 1990s during the era of General Abacha when he sent a Brigade of Nigerian Army to ward of an incursion by the Cameroonian Army. General Abacha gloriously created the Bakassi Local Government Area to ameliorate years of neglect of Bakassi by successive Federal /State Governments .
In October 2002 the International Court of Justice at the Hague delivered it’s judgment over a case filed by the Republic of Cameroon against Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea concerning the maritime boundary between these three neighbouring countries and awarded the sovereignty of the Bakassi peninsula to the Republic of Cameroon.
Recall that in 2002, Sentor Giwa was an influential member of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Cross River South ( which Bakassi was an integral part).
What was role of Senator Giwa in all this? What was her intervention? In September 2005, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo signed the so called Green Tree Treaty at the instance of the United Nations and other Western Powers and the United States of America with the the Republic of Cameroon for the implementation of the 2002 judgment of the International Court of Justice on Bakassi. At that time, Senator Giwa was the Special Adviser to the then President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly Matters!
What advice did she give on the matter? What was role on the matter? What was her intervention? Did she played the ostrich because she was then in the corridor of power? Was she aware that the Federal Government gave money to then Cross River State under the then Governor Donald Duke!
What role did Senator Giwa played to ensure these funds are judicious managed and applied to resolve the matter concerning re settlement of people displaced by the Bakassi.
I know that in 2008 or thereabouts, the Federal government in conjunction with the Cross River State Government constituted a Bakassi Resettlement Committee and Senator Giwa was appointed Chairman!
I know that a huge sum money was budgeted for the resettlement problem in Bakassi! How was this money spent? Was it judiciously used? Where is the Report of the Bakassi Resettlement Committee? Senator Giwa must tell us something about this Committee because she was in charge.
Under the Statutes of the International Court of Justice there is ten years window for review of its judgments by either party for one reason or the other ! These ten years window expired in October 2012 but Nigeria failed woefully to take advantage of this golden opportunity!
At this time, Senator Giwa was an influential Senior Member of the then PDP Federal Government under the leadership of the then President Goodluck Jonathan in her capacity as a Director of the lucrative Nigerians Port Authority! Where was Senator Ita? Did she bring her clout and influence on the Federal government to bear to do the needful!
I know that the Federal Government made a grant of billions of Naira at the intervention of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to the government of Cross River State to alleviate the financial loss suffered by the State arising out of the loss of the sovereignty of Bakassi by Nigeria and the 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom State!
Where was the intervention of Senator Giwa to ensure that huge amount of money is judiciously managed to cater for the interest of the people of Bakassi? Did she played the ostrich because she was close to the corridors of power? Contrary to the position of Senator Giwa, the Federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari has undertaken of diplomatic engagement to resolve the issue of Bakassi.