by crossriverwatch admin
Senate Leader, Chief Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, has expressed worry that since Bakassi Peninsula which was part of Cross River State was ceded to Cameroon, the state has not been compensated.
Senator Ndoma-Egba said what befell the state could be described as double tragedy as it lost not only parts of its territory as a result of the International Court of Justice, ICJ, judgment that ceded the oil rich peninsula to Cameroon, but also the oil wells belonging to the state.
He said going by the magnitude of the loss which was perpetual, the state was supposed to be compensated in perpetuity even as he said that the treaty that ceded Bakassi to Cameroon had not been ratified by the national assembly.
“To the best of my knowledge the treaties have not been ratified. That is not to say we do not have a factual situation on ground that Bakassi is now occupied by Cameroons that most Nigerians in Bakassi have relocated.
“The issues are no longer issues surrounding the ratification of treaty, the issues now are mainly humanitarian issues surrounding the people who are affected especially negatively by the ceding of Bakassi and then of course the issue of compensation to Cross River state and the people of Bakassi. Those are the issues that are outstanding.
“Well you know if government acquires your cassava farm today, government is obliged to pay you compensation for your cassava farm, not to talk of when government seize a whole territory over and above you.
“The least you expect is that Cross River should be compensated to the extent of the loss, if the loss is temporary loss, you compensate them temporarily, if the loss is in perpetuity, then you have to also compensate the state in perpetuity,” he stated.
On why the state was delisted from the league of oil producing states in the country, Ndoma-Egba who represents Cross River Central in the senate said, “It’s all part of the consequential loss we are talking about.
“If the oil wells belong to Cross River when Bakassi was part of Cross River and Bakassi is gone and the oil wells have gone as a consequence of Bakassi going, then the least you can do for Cross River state is to ensure that it is not put in an aggravating situation, at least the situation shouldn’t be worse than it was when Bakassi was part of Cross River state,” the Senate Leader said.
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