Cameroon-Nigeria border: Nwa MP raises concerns over non-integration of villages into constituency.
By Macwalter Njapteh in Yaounde
The villages concerned including Antere, Ikiri, Ambah, Ancha, Manchuah and Bang had been handed over to Cameroon as one of the terms of the famous Green Tree Agreement signed between Cameroon and Nigeria to put to rest the conflict over the Bakassi peninsula.
During the the April 30 plenary session at the Glass House, the MP quizzed the Minister Delegate at the Ministry of External Relations in charge of relations with the Commonwealth, Felix Mbayu. The minister had showed up at the National Assembly to defend a bill to authorize the Head of State ratify an accord with Brazil allowing Cameroonians likewise, Brazilians imprisoned in either country, to be allowed to decide where to serve the prison terms.
“…after the famous Green Tree treaty, many villages were given to Cameroon in our subdivision but these villages have never come over to us,” he said after mounting the rostrum.
“I don’t know where these my brothers and sisters belong now, whether they are Cameroonians or Nigerians. We had one Nigerian authority who came on social media saying that, they are questioning the then treaty which we don’t think should be questioned,” Hon Adamu asserted before positing that “even during 11th February Youth day and 20th May National Day, they don’t come for celebrations at our sub divisional headquarters”.
“Of late, we have had a number of raids from a group of people from neighbouring country. They come into my subdivision carry out their raids and move back into the country concern. If these our people from the six villages had clearly identified with us, they would have probably helped in stopping the influx of criminals into our area”.
In response to the worries raised by the MP, minister Mbayu explained that: “Those villages are Cameroonian and it’s just a matter of time. As you know the policy of occupation of our border area is a condition where a village may be Cameroonian but if the economy of that area is conducted in naira as it is the case not only there, but in other areas like Fura-awa and Akwaya. There is that tendency to relate but under international law, they are subjects under Cameroon sovereignty”.
Regarding the Bakassi peninsula, the minister told the MPs that despite the controversial outing of the Nigerian former minister and politician, Femi Fani-Kayode, Cameroon maintains sovereignty over the
Bakassi peninsular as settled in the Green Tree agreement.
“Concerning our sovereignty area in Bakassi, I can say in a very unequivocal manner that Bakassi is Cameroonian. It does not depend on the political gesticulation of any politician in Nigeria”.
Urging the lawmakers to disregard such outings from overzealous Nigerian politicians, the member of government explained that, having contacted the Nigerian authorities over such claims, they were assured of Nigeria’s commitment to respect international treaty obligations.
“…we also officially contacted the Nigerian government, which stated and reminded everyone that international treaty obligations in Nigeria are handled by the state government not by federal government. And the Nigerian Federal government has never made any statement contrary to its commitments under the Green Tree agreement” Minister Mbayu further informed the people’s representatives.