Displacement Status and Welfare of Settlers in Population Resettlements: The case of Bakassi Resettlement Programme in Cross River State, Nigeria

Egbe Brown Isokon

Abstract


This paper examines displacement status and welfare of Bakassi settlers in Cross River State against the backdrop of the 1980 UN policy on resettlement programmes and its implications for resettlement planning as well as success of a resettlement scheme. The study is predicated on the apriori that the state of Bakassi settlers is akin to status depreciation, impoverishment, loss of sources of livelihood, stigmatization, discrimination, inhuman treatment and infringement of fundamental human rights. The issues discussed have wider applicability for resettlement programmes not only in Nigeria but in Africa as a whole. In the light of these observations, it is suggested among others that vigorous education campaigns should be carried out among settlers and neigbouring communities around the resettlement area. The campaigns should emphasize attitudinal change, accommodation, cooperation, peace and unity amongst the settlers and the neigbouring communities. Efforts should also be made through workshops, seminars, and conferences to bring about this awareness. The study also suggests that government should take a strategic sustainable development approach to address the challenges confronting displaced persons, including economic empowerment, provision of employment opportunities, infrastructural development and ensure functional participation of settlers in the decision making framework, planning and operations of the resettlement.
Key Words: displacement, resettlements, settlers, status, welfare.

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