True to his promise, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, weekend, marked his 49th birthday with the displaced people of Bakassi.
The governor had a week earlier, during the ground breaking for the construction of 5,000 housing units for the displaced Bakassi people, promised to mark his birthday with them.
Governor Ben Ayade
Ayade, who chose Ikpang Nkanya camp of the IDPs as venue for the occasion, personally served the people meals.
He was assisted by his wife, Linda.
Ikpang Nkanya, Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state, is the proposed site for the 5,000 2-bedroom housing units for the displaced people of Bakassi.
Speaking on the occasion, Ayade said: “Spending my time with them, as I join to serve them is to reassure them that there is hope in the horizon and at the fullness of time, they shall overcome because God is always with the downtrodden and the oppressed.”
He said he has a moral responsibility to provide the IDPs with a shoulder to lean on, despite their neglect by the international community, adding, “We can reduce the pain by providing happiness and basic amenities like water, housing and opportunity to go to school, in order for them to realise their potentials.”
Ayade lamented that it was a shame that in the 21st century and in a leading nation on the African continent, the Bakassi IDPs are living in an open hall in primary schools infested with mosquitoes.
Accordingly, Ayade said: “I will never be Ayade if this project of resettling them is not complete.
“Of what value is life when you are not adding value to another life?”