In an effort to maintain the existing good relationship between the College and the host community of Bebi, the management of the College led by the Provost, Dr. James Bassey Ejue visited the leaders of the community on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. During the visit, the Provost took time to appreciate the Bebi Community for their close watch and protection of government facilities within their domain. However, he alerted them on the imminent threat of obvious danger posed to the College by the activities of those who encroach on College land at the Bebi campus.
The meeting took place at the premises of Chief Francis Atung who is the clan head of Bebi East Community in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross- River State. Present at the interaction included other prominent Chief from the Community, elders and youths as well as the entire Management of the College. While addressing the august gathering, the Provost first expressed gratitude to the host community for prevailing on their youths to stop the illegal logging activities that are taking place within the precincts of the college. He said the College, on its part, had reciprocated by giving employment to some qualified people from the Community in a recent exercise.
Unfortunately, he said that members of the Community, rather than building on the existing mutual relationship, are now encroaching into College land at the Bebi Campus by carrying out farming activities without authorization. This unauthorized use of College land, for him, is becoming unbearable and cannot be accepted. Although he envisaged that some people may want to do some farming within the College, he advised that such persons should apply to the College land Allocation Committee who may allot designated areas that are not meant for immediate use to them.
Another issue of great concern to the Provost was the wanton excavation of sand from within the College premises. He noted the adverse effects of such continued depletion of sand, and warned those who are doing sand business to leave the College land alone. Dr. Ejue also strongly frowned at the activities of some heavy duty vehicles that trespass the College premises to convey their woods from the forests. He pointed out that all these activities, if looked at holistically, constitutes a threat to the corporate existence of the College and may attract some unpleasant consequences if they are not halted immediately.
In another development, the Provost profusely thanked the host community for accommodating the students who live in their midst. He said they have been protective and very helpful to them and urged the community not to relent. In their own response which was co-ordinated by Mr. Daniel Kejoho, the Chief explained that although some of them are completely deprived of farm land, nothing will make them to comeback to take over the land that they have voluntarily donated to government. They said that in order to eke out a living, some of them however engage in farming activities in the College. Subsequently, they pledged that they would follow the due process as advised by the Provost.
For other unauthorized activities that take place in the College, the community requested the College Management:
1. To immediately embark on the survey of the land that was donated to them by the community
2. To commence, without delay the perimeter fencing of the entire campus
3. To immediately build a gate at the entrance of the campus in order to control movements and prevent unauthorized persons from entering the campus to carry out illegal activities.
For them, when some of these measures are put in place they would now be able to control their own people and admonish them to keep away from the College land.