HomeSocietyBakassi's Children Face Daily Terror from Militants in Nigeria

Bakassi’s Children Face Daily Terror from Militants in Nigeria

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In Nigeria’s Bakassi Peninsula, militants wielding guns routinely beat, shoot, and maltreat children, some as young as five. Over the past five months, these attacks have resulted in at least three children getting shot, two of whom died.

A young girl from Ine Utang fishing settlement in the Dayspring community suffered a gunshot wound in the arm and is still in excruciating pain due to the absence of medical facilities.

According to a report by Daily Post, Chris Akpan, a ten-year-old from Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State, shared his experiences of the violence inflicted by militants in the settlement. During a holiday visit to their parents, Chris and other children faced militants who demanded fish, crayfish, money, and petrol. “They show no mercy, even killing children who resist them,” Chris said.

Eight-year-old Ubong Etim spoke about the lack of schools in the community. “We spend our days fishing and dream of going to school like other kids,” he said, echoing a common desire among the children there.

Ine Utang, home to over 1,500 settlers, consists of about 200 small houses. Recently, a fire during fish smoking destroyed several homes, leaving many families without shelter.

Despite territorial claims by Cameroon and Akwa Ibom State, Ine Utang falls under the administration of Cross River State. A speedboat from Calabar to these communities takes around one hour and 20 minutes.

Mr. Akpan Akpan (a pseudonym), an elder from Ine Utang, spoke about the fear and danger of about ten militant groups operating in the Bakassi creeks. “We live at the mercy of these militants due to the lack of government presence or security,” he said.

Mr. Akpan called for increased surveillance and presence by the Nigerian Navy to bring some safety to the residents.

Vincent Gbaranwi, the commander of the local Nigerian Navy ship, recently conducted a free medical outreach for over 200 residents. “In response to the worsening situation, we aim to step up our surveillance,” Gbaranwi declared.

The situation is further complicated by the Dragon Fighter Marine militant group’s claim of the territory as part of Biafra, adding to the region’s instability.

Children in Bakassi, caught in this turmoil, struggle daily for survival without access to education or healthcare, highlighting the urgent need for government action and support.

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