The Senate on Tuesday directed its Committee on States and Local Governments to liaise with the National Boundary Commission to investigate the United Nations’ decision to undertake boundary adjustment between Nigeria and Cameroon.
The upper chamber in the plenary condemned in strong terms the attempt to cede part of Danare and Bashua communities of Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State to Cameroun based on “an imaginary projection of the Joint Technical Team and in disregard to subsection 12(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.” The Senate, therefore, urged the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, to ensure a more effective supervision of the boundary demarcation exercise to forestall the country being short-changed under any guise.
Moving the motion on the issue, the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, drew the attention of his colleagues to the recent activities of the Joint Technical Team, a sub body of the Nigeria-Cameroun Mixed Commission. He said team was mandated to carry out field work to trace, ascertain and reinforce the boundary points between the two countries. He added that the team went to the villages of Danare and Bashua in Boki Local Government,Cross River State, aided by Nigerian soldiers to arbitrarily enforce demarcation of the boundary
between the two countries.
Ndoma-Egba expressed concern that on two occasions, the exercise was attempted in the area; there was no representation from Cross River State in the United Nations team, led by a Zimbabwean nationale, Mr. Paul Mbaya. At the moment, he said that Cameroonian security forces are guarding their border communities but there is no security presence on the Nigerian side. The Senate Leader specifically drew the attention of the Senate to the October 10, 2002 adjustment exercise, and recalled that the International Court of Justice, to which Nigeria had subjected itself, gave judgment in the matter of the land and maritime dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon.
In its verdict, he added, the ICJ awarded ownership of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon in spite of the strong historical, cultural and legal arguments put forward by Nigeria, a decision that has been trailed by much controversy till date. According to Senator Ndoma-Egba, based on the ICJ ruling, the Nigeria-Cameroon Mixed
Commission was set up under the auspices of the United Nations to give effect to the judgment and carry out detailed demarcation of th boundary between the two countries from Lake Chad to the Atlantic Ocean.
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