Reps Panel Calls For ‘swift Action’ Against Losing Another Territory To Cameroon

The house of representatives ad hoc committee on the international boundary dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon says “swift” action must be taken to prevent the nation from losing another territory to its neighbour.

In 2008, Nigeria ceded Bakassi Peninsula — over 1,000sq/ km territory — to Cameroon following the Greentree agreement.

Nigeria lost the territory to Cameroon based on a judgment of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in October 2002.

Last week, 10 lawmakers moved a motion on the floor of the house, saying Danare and Biajua communities and about 7,000 to 10,000 hectares of land in the Boki area of Cross River state are at risk of being ceded to Cameroon.

Victor Abang from Cross River, who led the debate on the motion, had said the situation is a result of the non-location of pillar 113A by the technical committee of the Cameroon-Nigeria mixed commission.

The motion was deliberated and the house subsequently set up an ad hoc committee to look into the case of potential land encroachment by the Cameroonian government.

Addressing journalists on Thursday in Abuja, Beni Lar, chairperson of the committee, said all stakeholders in the country must work towards a swift resolution of the dispute to prevent the loss of land and citizens to Cameroon.

“The ad hoc committee on the Nigeria-Cameroon border dispute is deeply concerned about the potential loss of a significant landmass and Nigerian citizens residing within it to the Cameroon Republic,” she said.

“This alarming possibility, following the previous loss of the Bakassi peninsula, underscores the urgent need for immediate action to outline the correct border stretch between the two countries.”

She said the committee recognises the gravity of the situation and the profound implications it holds for Nigeria’s territorial integrity and the welfare of citizens, adding that a swift resolution is imperative to prevent history from repeating itself.

“The committee wishes to express its appreciation and commendation for the relentless efforts of the organisations and individuals who have worked tirelessly to ensure Nigeria is not short-changed in the border dispute,” Lar said.

“The committee also calls upon Nigerian citizens, civil society organisations, and stakeholders to remain calm, and patient, trusting the efforts of those charged legally to protect the fatherland, as well as be supportive throughout this critical period.

“Unity and collaboration are crucial to achieving a favourable outcome that preserves Nigeria’s territorial integrity and upholds the rights of its citizens.

“Once again, the ad hoc committee on the Nigeria-Cameroon border dispute remains committed to a peaceful and amicable resolution guided by international law and the principles of justice, fairness and equity.

“We are confident that with the collective efforts of all parties involved and with very good sensitisation collaboration of the media, a lasting solution can be reached, which is securing Nigeria’s land and the well-being of its citizens.”