Abuja – Youths in the Cross River State are challenging the handing over of the Bakassi territory to Cameroon.
The group, under the auspices of the All Cross River Youth Forum (ACRIYOF), has resolved to table the matter before the upcoming national conference, demanding the “return”
ACRIYOF Coordinator, James Ibor, said the handing over of Bakassi remained “illegal” unless the Nigerian Constitution was amended to grant the move.
“Nigeria’s Constitution clearly spells out that for any part of the country to be ceded, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be amended and that was not done in the case of the Bakassi handover as neither the senate of Nigeria nor the House of Representatives passed a bill approving the handover,” he stated.
He further stated, “The handing over was born out of the inordinate ambition of some leaders to actualize their selfish interest which ACRIYOF see as severe injustice against the people and the land and must therefore be redressed. Even with the discovery of fresh facts, Nigeria never made a move to institute an appeal against the ruling which the ICJ agreed that any appeal against its ruling can be effected within and during ten years after the judgment.”
Ibor argued Cameroon had not obeyed the Green Tree Agreement signed by former President Olushegun Obansanjo and Cameroon head of state, Paul Biya,
In June 2006, the two countries signed the UN-backed agreement setting the terms and timeframe for the implementation of the 2002 ruling of the International Court of Justice, which transferred the peninsula from Nigeria to Cameroon.
Nigeria formally ceded the territory in 2008, and since then a transitional phase has been in place to give full sovereignty of the territory to Cameroon, which recently assumed total control
The peninsula, which has an estimated population of up to 300 000, has aroused considerable interest from oil firms interested in exploring the product.
– CAJ News