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Bakassi: Senate didn’t reverse hand over – Mark

Posted by By UCHE USIM on 2007/12/11 | Views: 479 |

Bakassi: Senate didn’t reverse hand over – Mark


Against renewed criticisms of the hand over of the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senate President, David Mark, has re-emphasized that it is only the Senate that could implement the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the contentious region. He also said the Senate did not reverse the hand over of Bakassi.

• Only Senate can implement ICJ’s ruling

Against renewed criticisms of the hand over of the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senate President, David Mark, has re-emphasized that it is only the Senate that could implement the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the contentious region. He also said the Senate did not reverse the hand over of Bakassi.

Fielding questions from aviation correspondents on Sunday in Lagos, prior to his departure to Abuja, Mark said the task before the Senate on the issue was to implement the ruling of the ICJ.

“If there is a requirement for us to implement the International Court of Justice (IJC) ruling, it is only the Senate that can implement it, because it affects boundary adjustment to the extent that certain part of Nigeria will go away. That, of course, can only be done by the Senate and nobody else,” he said.
Mark, however, said that what was of utmost importance to the Senate for now was the need to fast track payment of settlement to Nigerians displaced during the implementation of the ruling.

“Some Nigerians were displaced in the motion of implementing the green tree agreement and we urge the Federal Government to fast track payment of their settlement,” he said.
Mark also clarified that though the Senate had a role to play in the implementation, there was no reversal of the hand over.

He said: “I am saying that there was a motion on the floor of the Senate and we had some resolutions. When did the reversal come? Is it in the streets. If there is any reversal, it can only be on the floor of the Senate.
“In other words, I am saying we took resolutions on it and those resolutions are standing and I am not aware of any reversal.”

On the burning issue of likely hike in the price of petroleum products, the Senate president maintained that there should not be any increase of any sort, pointing out that the people have suffered enough. He, however, described stories of increase as speculative, stressing that there has been no concrete move to hike the prices.

Mark said: “This Senate is not interested in rumours about increase in fuel price. The executive arm of government has already explained that there will not be any increase.

“And there should not be any increase, because people are suffering enough.”
On the passage of the budget, Mark said the National Assembly was doing all it could to ensure that the 2008 budget was passed this year.
“We want to get the budget passed before the end of the year, so that the executive can start the implementation. We are working as fast as we can. You know it is concurrence, both houses must agree on every kobo on that budget,” he said.

“The Senate Committee on Appropriation will tie up all its work on the budget before the end of the year as the committee on the House of Representatives is doing. This is because we are a bicameral house. We cannot be going in another direction”, he added.
The Senate President restated the resolve of the Senate to ensure that the principle of check and balance was effective.

“We will ensure that every kobo budgeted and released is spent. We like to see where it is spent. We are not going to sit in Abuja and fold our hands. The committee are up and doing. We move round now and check the executive; that is our main function. The check and balance in democracy is at work,” Mark said.

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