Nigerians resident in the ceded Bakassi Peninsular in Cameroon have alleged that the Cameroonian gendarmes have killed over 97 Nigerians since Wednesday.
The returnees, numbering over 130, who landed the Ikang jetty in the New Bakassi local government area in Cross River State around 2am in wooden engine boats said they managed to escape with their lives.
They alleged that they have lived under constant harassment from the Cameroonian authorities since the area was ceded.
According to the new returnees the situation that led to their return started on Wednesday when the gendarmes allegedly asked them to pay N100, 000 for boat engine fee, which they said they did not have.
One of the returnees from Akpankanya in Abana, Chief Umoh Umoh Inyang, who spoke Efik interpreted by Linus Asuquo Essien, narrated their ordeal, “The Cameroonian gendarmes have been harassing us so much. They destroy our things, destroy our boats, beat us up and shoot many of us to death. They make 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 our fishing and in our houses where we were just staying they came and asked us to pay N100, 000 each of each boat engine.
“When we said we do not have such money, they started beating us up and shot a lot of us. We had to leave suddenly and so many people missed their children and members of their families. We got to this Ikang jetty around 2am today.
“So many of our people have been held captive there. They have killed over 90 of our people. So many people ran into the bush, so many others are scattered along the waterway. We came in all these boats you are seeing here. We were over 2000 that were scattered over there. Right now we don’t know where so many others are. Some of managed to land here around 2am. The others are scattered all over the place.”