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FG Protests to Cameroon Against Harassment of Nigerians in Bakassi

FG Protests to Cameroon Against Harassment of Nigerians in Bakassi

Nigeria has vehemently  protested to Cameroon against the harassment of Nigerians in Bakassi Peninsula. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice/Leader of the Nigerian Delegation to the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed-Commission, Mohammed Bello Adoke, made Nigeria’s concerns about the development known at the Opening Ceremony of the 30th Session of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed-Commission (CNMC) Held at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja today.

Adoke registered Nigeria’s displeasure when he said “Mr. Chairman, let me reiterate my earlier representation to the 20th Meeting of the Follow-Up Committee, that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is concerned about reported cases of maltreatment of its citizens in the Bakassi Peninsula.  As I re-iterated on that occasion, while Nigeria would continue to honour its international obligations, the Government is concerned about this situation and its possible effect on the work of the CNMC. The effect of this allegations and the political pressure they engender cannot be overemphasized as they impact profoundly on the level of public confidence between the Government and its citizens.

Continuing he said , “We therefore, call on the Cameroonian Authorities in the spirit of Article 4 of the Greentree Agreement, and other International Human Right Instruments to which our two countries are signatories, to urgently investigate and take measures to address these concerns. This is important as it would provide the enabling political environment for the activities of the CNMC and the Follow-Up Committee, as well as strengthen the hand of Government in its resolve to faithfully implement the ICJ judgment.

Adoke noted that “We are however comforted by the assurances given to us at the Meeting of the Follow Up Committee by my Brother Minister Ngute, as well as, the Chairman of the CNMC/Follow Up Committee that these allegations will be investigated in order to assure the affected populations of their safety and that their rights will be respected and means of livelihood will be protected by Cameroonian authorities.

“Chairman, may I once again draw our attention to the issue of assistance to the affected populations being promoted by the CNMC and Country Teams of the UN in both Cameroon and Nigeria.  I wish to passionately appeal for the fruition of these noble and desirable projects in order to ameliorate the challenges being encountered daily by our people along the border.  In this regard, I appeal to our development partners to continue to assist us as we move to the practical phase of our confidence building measures,”Adoke said  adding “I therefore call upon all the experts involved in the remaining exercises, that is, assessment of disagreement, in-accessed and skipped areas, mapping of the boundary corridor and the determination of the tripartite point of the maritime boundary between Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial-Guinea to rededicate themselves to the conclusion of the exercise within the stipulated period.  We must all resolve to make 2013 a decisive year for the consolidation of our joint efforts.”


Despite the hitches recorded so far, Nigeria has  expressed  her commitment towards  implementing the judgement on Bakassi. “Finally, I wish to reiterate Nigeria’s commitment and determination to continue to faithfully implement the judgment and commitments made to the United Nations Secretary General and the International Community. We therefore call on the international community to continue to support our efforts to ensure success in this endeavour,”Adoke said.

Read the full text of Adoke’s Address below:
ADDRESS BY MR. MOHAMMED BELLO ADOKE, CFR, SAN,

Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice/Leader of the Nigerian Delegation to the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed-Commission At the Opening Ceremony of the 30th Session

of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed-Commission (CNMC) Held at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Thursday, 13th December 2012

  • The Chairman, Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed-Commission and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, His Excellency, Ambassador Said Djinnit,
  • The Leader of Cameroonian Delegation, Vice Prime Minister and Minister Delegate in the Presidency In-Charge of Parliamentary Relations, my brother and friend, His Excellency, Ahmadou Ali,
  • Members of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission,
  • Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
  • Gentlemen of the Press,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen.

1.    I am delighted to welcome you all to our capital city, Abuja, which over the years has assumed the status of a second home to most of the delegates here present. The meetings of the Cameroon Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC) whether hosted by Nigeria or Cameroon have overtime affords our delegations the opportunity to renew acquaintances with our good friends and brothers from Cameroon and the United Nations.

2.    In this vein, permit me to particularly welcome the Chairman of the CNMC and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa, His Excellency, Ambassador Said Djinnit and the Leader of the Cameroon delegation, my friend and brother, His Excellency, Ahmadu Ali, to Abuja. These leaders have demonstrated their unflinching commitments to the execution of our assignment, making it possible for us to continue to meet to find solutions to our common problems for the sustenance of peace and for the common good of our people.

3.    While I take this opportunity to welcome you all to this gathering, let me commend the Governments of Nigeria and Cameroon, as well as the United Nations for their continuous support to the activities of the Mixed-Commission.  In this regard, I want to specially convey our gratitude to their Excellences, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR and President Paul Biya for their commitment to peace and African brotherhood.  We would certainly not have been here, today, but for their courage, wisdom and continuing support for the work of the CNMC, as well as, their abiding faith in the CNMC, as a novel paradigm in conflict resolution.

4.    Your Excellences, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to place on record that the most significant achievements of the Mixed-Commission remains the prevalence of peace between Cameroon and Nigeria.  We have every reason to be proud of this particular achievement because, the atmosphere would have been different, to day, if the common problems between our two countries were not resolved amicably.

5.    The peace and brotherly relations existing between our two countries have led to the attainment of the following milestones by the CNMC, namely:

(a)  The Handover and transfer of sovereignty of the villages affected by the ICJ judgment in the Lake      Chad Area in 2003;

(b)  the Handover and transfer of sovereignty of some selected villages along the land boundary   in 2004;

(c)  the withdrawal of the Nigerian Military from the     Bakassi- Peninsula in 2006;

(d)  delineating the maritime boundary between        Nigeria and Cameroon in the Gulf of Guinea in      accordance with the ICJ judgment, accomplished in May 2007;

(e)  accomplishing the field work necessary for the     commencement of Pillar Emplacement in over     90% of   the land boundary.  This exercise is still in   progress, and

(f)    confidence-building measures that have        continually strengthened the bond of friendship        and brotherhood between our two countries.

6.    Mr. Chairman, as you are aware, these are no mean achievements considering the prevailing atmosphere prior to the ICJ judgment. We have been able to achieve these milestones because of the commitment exhibited by both countries to ensure the practical success of the exercise, for the benefit of our peoples. It is in this connection that I wish to use this medium to express our sincere gratitude to all the stakeholders and the international community for their supports in the course of this complex and sensitive assignment.

7.    Your Excellences, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me also commend the efforts of all the members of the Mixed-Commission, the Sub-Committee and the Technical Teams for their contributions, sacrifices and commitments for the progress made, thus far.  I urge you all to continue to give your best, especially now that the work of the Commission is near completion.

8.    It is pertinent to once more reiterate the issue of peace that prevails between our two countries.  In this respect, I wish to commend the Government of the Republic of Cameroon for its unrelenting efforts towards the provision of social amenities for the affected populations in the Bakassi Zone. The Federal Government of Nigeria, will on its part, continue to do all that is possible to protect the rights of Nigerians living in the Bakassi Peninsula and where necessary, assist to resettle those who indicate their willingness to return to Nigeria.

9.    Mr. Chairman, let me reiterate my earlier representation to the 20th Meeting of the Follow-Up Committee, that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is concerned about reported cases of maltreatment of its citizens in the Bakassi Peninsula.  As I re-iterated on that occasion, while Nigeria would continue to honour its international obligations, the Government is concerned about this situation and its possible effect on the work of the CNMC. The effect of this allegations and the political pressure they engender cannot be overemphasized as they impact profoundly on the level of public confidence between the Government and its citizens.

10.  We therefore, call on the Cameroonian Authorities in the spirit of Article 4 of the Greentree Agreement, and other International Human Right Instruments to which our two countries are signatories, to urgently investigate and take measures to address these concerns. This is important as it would provide the enabling political environment for the activities of the CNMC and the Follow-Up Committee, as well as strengthen the hand of Government in its resolve to faithfully implement the ICJ judgment.



11.  We are however comforted by the assurances given to us at the Meeting of the Follow Up Committee by my Brother Minister Ngute, as well as, the Chairman of the CNMC/Follow Up Committee that these allegations will be investigated in order to assure the affected populations of their safety and that their rights will be respected and means of livelihood will be protected by Cameroonian authorities.

12.  Chairman, may I once again draw our attention to the issue of assistance to the affected populations being promoted by the CNMC and Country Teams of the UN in both Cameroon and Nigeria.  I wish to passionately appeal for the fruition of these noble and desirable projects in order to ameliorate the challenges being encountered daily by our people along the border.  In this regard, I appeal to our development partners to continue to assist us as we move to the practical phase of our confidence building measures.

13.  I therefore call upon all the experts involved in the remaining exercises, that is, assessment of disagreement, in-accessed and skipped areas, mapping of the boundary corridor and the determination of the tripartite point of the maritime boundary between Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial-Guinea to rededicate themselves to the conclusion of the exercise within the stipulated period.  We must all resolve to make 2013 a decisive year for the consolidation of our joint efforts.

14.  Finally, I wish to reiterate Nigeria’s commitment and determination to continue to faithfully implement the judgment and commitments made to the United Nations Secretary General and the International Community. We therefore call on the international community to continue to support our efforts to ensure success in this endeavour.

15.  Once more, I welcome you to Abuja, and invite you to take advantage of your visit to enjoy the scenic beauty of our historic capital City and the hospitality of the government and people of Nigeria.

16. I thank you for your kind attention.

  • God Bless the Republic of Cameroon!
  • God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
  • God Bless the work of the CNMC!!!

 

 

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