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Housing units: Hope rises for Bakassi returnees



Housing units: Hope rises for Bakassi returnees

Respite will soon come the way of displaced people of Bakassi as the first phase of social housing units being built by the Cross River State government for them at Ifiang Ayong, was nearing completion.
Governor Ben Ayade had while marking his birthday with the displaced people of Bakassi last year, promised to provide them with befitting accommodation.
Commissioner for Social Housing, Edem Okokon Effiom, who conducted newsmen round the project, spoke on the quality of the houses.
He said: “These buildings as you can see are not mere huts but two bedroom flats end-suites. They are built with state-of-the-art facilities. You cannot have social housing units in any part of the world better than these ones not even in advanced countries.”

While saying that there was provision of land within the estate ‘for governor’s lodge, market, schools and skills acquisition centre,’ he added that; “in this first phase, there are 52 houses, out of which 36 are at the roofing level, 14 at lintels and two totally completed. So, basically I can conveniently say we are at 70 per cent completion.”

He lauded Ayade for keeping to his promise, adding that the governor was seeking solution to the humanitarian crisis in Bakassi created by the international community.

“The problem we are trying to resolve as a state was not created by us. We didn’t create this, United Nations and the Federal Government created this, but today it is a shame that they have abandoned us. They would have been here to solve this problem.”

On the choice of the project site, Effiom explained that, “this was an area that was militant infested, but today I see those boys happy. We have transformed their lives as they come here to do little jobs, some have gotten money, decent clothes and motorcycles. Nothing can be more bigger than the lives we have transformed here.”

A displaced youth, Okon Effiom Archibong who commended the state government on the feat expressed excitement at the prospect of having a decent home.

“I am very excited with the project and the ministry that oversees the task as the heads are always here supervising the job. I thank Governor Ayade for remembering this jurisdiction to cite this project here. What Ayade has done is beyond human explanation.”

For Patricia Ene Asuquo, another displaced indigene of Bakassi, Ayade is simply God sent.

“I am happy with the project. Ayade is working very fine and I have endorsed him for a second term.”

A local carpenter who is handling the roofing of some of the houses, “feels so good. This project has given me employment. At least I got contract to roof some of the buildings.”

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