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Bakassi not part of Nigerian territory – Boundary Commission boss

Posted by From TERWASE TYOBAN, Birnin Kebbi on 2008/08/16 | Views: 1501 |

Bakassi not part of Nigerian territory – Boundary Commission boss


Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Alhaji Sadiq Marafa Diggi has sensationally revealed that the Bakassi Peninsula was never part of Nigerian territory.

Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Alhaji Sadiq Marafa Diggi has sensationally revealed that the Bakassi Peninsula was never part of Nigerian territory.

Alhaji Diggi who spoke at the 2008 Survey Coordination and Advisory Board on Survey training conference in Birnin Kebbi said it was not until 1991 under the regime of the late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha that Bakassi Peninsula was brought into the Nigerian map.

He said prior to that time the area was not on the map of Nigeria but it reflected on the Camerounian map.
The Abacha regime, according to him, noticed the anormally and created the Bakassi Local Government Area in 1996 to give it a full Nigerian status.

Recalling the history behind the disputed area, the director general said in 1913 the colonial masters signed a treaty, ceding the Bakassi area to the German Cameroun using the Akwayape River as the boundary and adding that “even if the Akwayape River changes its course, Bakassi would still belong to the German Cameroun.”

In 1964, according to him, there was the Cairo declaration made by all the African heads of state to abide by the legal instruments defining the international boundaries with their neghbouring countries. He also cited the Marwa declaration of 1971 and 1975 treaty, which also confirmed the 1913 treaty.
It was in line with the 1913 treaty, he further stated, that the regimes of Yakubu Gowon and Ahmadu Ahidjo, former heads of state of Nigeria and Cameroun respectively drew their maritime boundary line.
Alhaji Diggi said in 1975 the then President of the World Court, a Nigerian, Justice Teslim Elias gave a legal opinion, which legally sealed the fate of Bakassi as belonging to Cameroun.

Those cumulative pieces of evidence, according to Diggi, swayed the judgment in favour of Cameroun at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), leaving Nigeria with no option than to cede the area to Cameroun.

The boundary commission boss said the Green Tree agreement signed by President Olusegun Obasanjo was to facilitate a soft landing spot for Nigeria to resettle displaced Nigerians living in the area.
The director general said, what Nigeria did was to try as much as possible to claim the historic aspects of the Nigerians living in the Bakassi Peninsula.

“What we did was try as much as possible to claim the historic aspects of Nigerians living in Bakassi Peninsula. If you look at the evidence on ground, and legal binding, Bakassi does not belong to us. If it did, Nigeria would have included it in our map and not wait until 1991 to do so.
“Nigeria should thank God that none of our oil wells was lost to Cameroun as Cameroun was not just claiming Bakassi Peninsula, but also claiming right down to our sea, right down to where you know we have oil wells offshore. God was so kind. Before the judgment we had an agreement with Equatorial Guinea concerning an oil field, which helped and protected our boundary, and as you know, the ICJ cannot give Equatorial Guinean territory to Cameroun.”

According to the director general, Cameroun was not happy over the judgment that only gave her Bakassi and not the oil wells. “Our lawyers successfully defended our oil wells, I can tell you that Cameroun is not happy with the ICJ judgment because Cameroun was looking for our oil wells and not just the Bakassi area and we thank God that none of the oil wells was lost to them.”

Although he declined to speak on the court injunction restraining the Federal Government from handing over Bakassi to Cameroun and the position of the National Assembly, Alhaji Diggi said he was not competent to speak as only the attorney general of the federation could speak on the court injunction. He, however, said there was no going back on the handover as Nigeria would honour her own part of the agreement.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown