By Modlin Odu

The people of Biajua and Biakwan communities in Boki Local Government Area have rejected the purchase of a section of their joint forest by Government of Cross River State for a proposed Banana plantation by Ayade Farm with the Commissioner for Works who happens to be from Biakwan community serving as the middle man.

This had caused rancour in Biakwan community on Monday, 18th May 2020 when the unsuspecting youths who had been told a different story about the Commissioner's visit earlier in the day were approached with 100,000 from the 800,000 naira later that same day, paid by the Commissioner to the community Chiefs as price for the land with promises of development from the State Government. 

In a phone conversation with some of the people particularly, the youths and a few elders, they stated that, they are villagers but not fools and will not fall prey to any deceit to forfeit their God given heritage and will give their lives to protect it. The Commissioner was prevented from leaving the Community for hours by the youths who insisted that their message must get to the Governor.

It took the intervention of the State Security Adviser(Central) who brought SARS officers from Ikom LGA to the community and sporadic shootings in the air ensued from both SARS Officers and some Community youths before the Commissioner could leave.

The next day, Tuesday 19th of May, the community leaders called for a meeting to address the situation and Police officers arrived to make arrests on the instruction of the Commissioner and were strongly resisted and started a peaceful protest as seen in the video. Even the Chiefs refused to allow them to make any arrest, promising to settle the matter as a family.

They proposed that Government should rather liaise with, and invest her resources in developing poor farmers who have numerous Banana plantations of commercial quantities wasting in the forest with no means to get them out to ready buyers. 

Although the Commissioner denied some of these allegations, he said the protest was orchestrated by opposition and those who are envious of him but he didn't refute the fact that Government is interested in taking lands from these communities for yet, another Banana plantation. Apparently, the Odukpani Banana plantation is dead with all the billions.

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Hi, I,m Pospi Otuson. A Nigerian Blogger, Social Entrepreneur and Convener of the renowned Boki Business Conference. CEO/Founder of Possibility Desk, the largest online consulting platform for possibilities in the world. Lets connect today.

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