By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
Fresh trouble may be brewing in the oil rich Bakassi region as the Senate on Tuesday raised alarm over an alleged attempt by Cameroon to annex Baneri, a village in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State .
However, the senate at a stormy session ordered its Committee on State and Local government to embark on full scale probe into the alleged attempt by the Joint Technical Team to cede Baneri village to neighboring Cameroon.
Decision of the Senate was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba who decried the action of the Joint Technical Team, a sub-committee within the Nigeria-Cameroon Mixed Commission, assigned by the United Nation to implement the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgement on Bakassi.
Ndoma-Egba said the activities of JTF is a calculated attempt to once again undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria and cede its productive lands and territory to Cameroon.
The Leader who recalled the ICJ judgment of October 10, 2002 said that the judgment did provide for land demarcation in Southern part of Nigeria but only dwelt on maritime boundaries.
According to him, whereas the Anglo-German boundary of 1913 situated in Danare-Biajua axis of Cross Rivers which he said prompted the JTF to locate boundary pillars identified as 109,110,111,112,113 and 114.
He said all boundaries were planted under Anglo-German agreement over a hundred years ago with the intention to reinforce them.
He lamented that it is indeed a sad commentary and a dangerous precedence for the country to be ceding its mineral rich territories voluntarily putting its citizens in jeopardy emotionally, physically, socially and economically at a time when other nations would in principle go to war.
He said,”This approach cedes some vital forest area and farmlands of the Nigerian Communities to Cameroun. So ridiculous is this projection by the Joint Technical Team that if implemented, even the government health center built by the Cross River State Government in Danare will fall into Cameroon territory and by the time the exercise ends at the
Atlantic Ocean, Cross River State would have lost substantial territory in addition to Bakassi to the Cameroons,” he added.
In his contribution to the motion, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu suggested that the Senate should constitute a committee to closely find out details on the issue of demarcation.
Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi also agreed with suggestion of the Deputy Senate who advised the Senate to constitute a committee on the issue.