At least 97 Nigerians have been killed by Cameroon gendarmes in part of Bakassi Peninsula ceded to the Central African nation since Wednesday,some returnees claimed on Thursday.
The 130 returnees, who landed at the Ikang jetty, New Bakassi local government area of Cross River State, on Thursday, said they managed to escape with their lives.
The returnees said they lived under constant harassment from the Cameroonian authorities since the area was ceded to the Central African nation.
One of the returnees, Chief Umoh Umoh Inyang, said, “The Cameroonian gendarmes have been harassing us so much. They destroyed our things, destroyed our boats, assaulted us and shot many of us to death. They made a lot of trouble for us in Akpankanya in Bakassi.
“They would not let us carry on with our lives and livelihood in peace. The sufferings we have received are so great we had to come back. They would not let us go to the sea for fishing and in our houses where we were just staying they came and asked us to pay N100, 000 each. When we said we don’t have such money, they started beating us and shot many of us. We were forced to leave the place suddenly. We got to this Ikang jetty around 2:00 a.m. today.”
Another returnee, Mr. Nse Edet Okon, added: “There was so much pandemonium. They destroyed everything. In 2008 they killed three people who worked with me. The government should come to our aid and resettle us properly in our own country. In 2008 they killed three canoe boys who worked with me while the rest escaped by jumping into the water. This time around they came and told me to pay N100, 000 tax for boat engine and I said I don’t have that kind of money.”