Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, has expressed displeasure over the list of persons who got allocations at the 40-bungalow housing estate in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Youths of the local government also protested against the list of those who were allocated the buildings, threatening to vandalise the estate. Usani stated his discontent during the official commissioning of the Housing Estate at Ikpiri Ikang in Bakassi Local Government Area on Monday.
He, however, ordered instant screening of some the beneficiaries on ground, insisting that those who benefitted from the allocations were not widows and the less privileged, who were originally meant to possess the buildings.
He said when the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs took over the completion of the estate that was abandoned, it planned to allocate the buildings to those who could not afford housing, especially widows and the less privileged in Bakassi.
“Some of the people whose names are here are not supposed to be the occupants of the houses. The houses were intended for widows and the less privileged, who cannot afford them and that was government’s plan.
“We will work with the Paramount Ruler to get the real people who should occupy the houses and we will send you a test inviting you to fill a form and proper screening will be done at the Calabar Office to ensure that we give the house to their proper owners,” he added.
Usani also said since the ministry could not build more houses, individuals should apply for land and build their own house in the estate.Speaking, Paramount Ruler of Bakassi and Chairman of Cross River State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Etim Okon Edet, commended the minister for completing and commissioning the project.
He said it would reduce the sufferings of some of his people, who were forced out of their original ancestral homes, insisting however, that government failed to keep its promise of resettling the people since Bakassi was ceded to Cameroon.
Edet argued that the gesture was not a proper resettlement the people deserved and appealed to the minister to inform the Federal Government about the plight of the people as they still await proper resettlement.Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Aliyu Bisalla, who was represented by Mrs. Lauren Braide, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was concerned about the well being of the people through its empowerment programmes in the past four years.