Nigerian Govt. Warns Cameroon Over Maltreatment of Bakassi Indigenes
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Nigerian Govt. Warns Cameroon Over Maltreatment of Bakassi Indigenes

The Nigerian Government on Thursday warned Cameroon to immediately halt the maltreatment of Nigerians living in the Bakassi Peninsula as it could affect the complete handing over process of the territory to Cameroon.

However, Cameroon immediately denied the allegation saying all citizens were being treated well.

The Nigerian government had said the maltreatment of its citizens in the Peninsula was not in consonance with Article 4 of the Green Tree Agreement (GTA) under which the Peninsula was handed over to Cameroon.

Nigerian Attorney General and the Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, said at the opening ceremony of the 30th session of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed-Commission (CNMC) in Abuja that such reported cases of maltreatment were capable of generating political upheavals and eroding public confidence in the full implementation of the Agreement.

Adoke also warned that it could tie the hand of the government in its resolve to faithfully implement the judgement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which gave the peninsula to Cameroon.

However, the leader of the Cameroonian delegation, Vice-Prime Minister, Mr Amadou Ali, denied the allegation saying that Nigerians in the Peninsula were enjoying the same hospitality extended to over 3.5 million other Nigerians who live in other parts of Cameroon.

Mr Ali said between 10,000 and 15,000 Nigerians living in the Peninsula were rushing to obtain Cameroonian nationality.

The allegations, he said, were only aimed at constituting a hindrance to the peaceful implementation of the ICJ judgement.

‘Now, can somebody reasonably imagine that these populations that are harassed, tortured and even massacred, instead of finding means and ways to leave these areas, request to be made comfortable so as to live in the areas they find themselves?’ Mr Ali asked.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed-Commission (CNMC) and special representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Said Djinnit has stated that Nigeria and Cameroon have provided a positive example for other countries with similar challenges on how to peacefully resolve their border and territorial disputes.

Djinnit said Nigeria and Cameroon had reached agreement on 1,845 kilometres out of over 2000 kilometres of the land boundary in contention.

He noted that in 2004 alone, the process of transfer of withdrawal and transfer of authority in 30 villages in the Lake Chad area between the two countries were completed.

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