As Cameroon Dares Nigeria Again

Editorial

As Nigerians in Bakassi and Abana continue to rue the loss of their communities to Cameroon following the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling some years ago, communities in Bashua and Danare in the Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State may face a similar fate soon if the Federal Government does not clip the wing of Cameroon which is desperate to also annexe these communities.

In January 2014, the affected Bashua and Danare communities had resisted the incursion of Cameroon during the visit of the United Nations Nigeria/Cameroon Mixed Commission. According to reports, the commission had arrived the communities and readjusted new boundaries covering 25 kilometres following the inability to trace two key boundary posts (pillars 113A and 114A) that were erected in 1913.

The 25 kilometres of land mass in Nigeria’s territory was recovered in favour of Cameroon. But if this is allowed to take effect, 20 Nigerian communities could be ceded to Cameroon in no time. It is curious that this non maritime but land boundary that was not a part of the International Court of Justice ruling in respect of Bakassi, is about to be ceded to Cameroon.

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The affected communities are agitated as the mixed commission prepares to visit the disputed area again. The Federal Government and the Cross River State Government must not allow these communities to be ceded to Cameroon under any guise. ICJ gave Cameroon a yard in Bakassi and Abana, now the country wants to take a mile in Bashua and Danare. It may also annexe the famous Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort and the surrounding rain forest.

All stakeholders must rise to the challenge and stop Cameroon from its desperate, clandestine attempt to expand its territory to Cross River State. Nigeria must resist any adjustment that would alter the boundary of Cross River State in favour of Cameroon. No inch of Nigeria’s land should be conceded to Cameroon again. The United Nations Nigeria/Cameroon Mixed Commission is clearly exceeding the judgment of the ICJ and must not be allowed to get away with it.

While Nigeria slept, the maritime boundaries of Bakassi and other neighbouring territories such as Abana were lost to Cameroon. There are fears that this may happen again even though, according to those who know, Cameroon did not lay claims to the Boki land boundary or any other boundary in Cross River State at the ICJ during the contest for Bakassi. We must not allow this to happen again. A stitch in time saves nine.