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Is Bakassi Finally Going?

07/17/12

Is Bakassi Finally Going?

*Is Bakassi Finally Going?

-Masterweb Reports

Masterweb Reports - Thursday, July 12, 2012: Bakassi is situated at the extreme eastern end of the Gulf of Guinea. According to Wikipedia, “Bakassi is the peninsular extension of the African territory of Calabar into the Atlantic Ocean”. The people of Bakassi were originally from Calabar and Akwa Ibom.

The first fishing settlement in the peninsular was established by Abasi Eke of Obutong in the 17th century. The peninsular was generally known by the indigenes as Akai Abasi Eke which the British corrupted to Bakassi. The British acknowledged that the area were dependencies of Calabar.

The peninsular is very rich in resources. It has abundance of fish. It is also rich in oil. Wikipedia says further that the area is “rich in fish, shrimps, and an amazing variety of other marine life forms. This makes the Bakassi area a very fertile fishing ground, comparable only to Newfoundland in North America and Scandinavia in Western Europe. Most of the population make their living through fishing.” Is it any wonder that the place has been an area of dispute for a very long time? ( Continues below..... )

showing Bakassi peninsular

Photo Above: Map showing Bakassi peninsular

In 1884, agents of the British Queen signed a treaty with the king and chiefs of Old Calabar, making the Old Calabar a British Protectorate. The King and Chiefs of Old Calabar refused to accept some clauses in the treaty which gave the British an unfettered access to Old Calabar territory. In spite of this objection, the British went ahead to sign this treaty on 10th September, 1984. Article v1 of the treaty said the King and Chiefs refused to allow uncontrolled access to their territory.

The British went further to sign a treaty with the Kings and Chiefs of Bakassi. The Bakassi kings and chiefs refused to enter a treaty with the British declaring that they were subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the kings and chiefs of Old Calabar.

Despite the objection of the Bakassi people, the British went ahead to cede the territory to Germany in a treaty purportedly signed on 11th March, 1913. The territory continued to be part of Nigeria. Even after the plebiscite of 1961 when Southern Camerouns decided to join Cameroun, Bakassi continued to be a part of Nigeria.

In 1971 and 1975, Nigeria under General Gowon in not very clear circumstances signed agreement with Cameroun ceding Bakassi to Cameroun. These were the Yaoundé II Declaration of 4 April 1971 and the Maroua Declaration of 1 June 1975, which were devised to outline maritime boundaries. These agreements were however never ratified by the Supreme Military Council (the parliamentary arm of Nigerian military government then). The agreement has therefore no force of law. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing Bakassi peninsular and parts of Cameroon

Nigeria and Cameroun almost went to war in 1981 and early 1990s. The Shagari government and Abacha regime respectively never allowed Cameroun to have her way. Cameroun was forced to retreat.

This was the situation before Cameroun went to the International Court of Justice on 29th March, 1994. The outcome of that case was the ICJ judgment of 10th October, 2002, confirming in a curious judgment that Bakassi belongs to Cameroun based on the treaty purportedly signed by Germany and Britain of 11th March, 1913. The judgment went against all that UN stood for. It breached the United States Charter on Human Rights which says in Article 15 that

-->[ Everyone has a right to a nationality. ]

-->[ No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality or denied the right to change his nationality. ]

The people were never asked to choose where they want to be. Judgments are no longer based on treaties signed without the people’s consent. The judgment also ignored the principle of uti possidetis juris – as you possess, you shall possess henceforth. People who declared that they were under the jurisdiction of Calabar were suddenly asked to leave their kith and kin and be citizens of Cameroun.

In the Green Tree Agreement which Obasanjo signed on 13th June, 2006, for reasons best known to him, it was agreed between both countries that rights and freedom of Nigerians left behind will be guaranteed. Today, the reverse is the case. Nigerians are oppressed and discriminated against. Those who left are in refugee camps in their own country in peace time. They are now located at Akpabuyo Local Government, a crop farming environment different from the fish farming environment which they were used to in Bakassi. They were disfranchised during the last general elections. ( Continues below….. )

Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

Photo Above: Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

The Bakassi peninsula being a very rich area has been attracting the interest of the international community. France has been the power behind Cameroun’s agitation all along. We can be sure too that France may well be involved in the ICJ judgment.

Why Nigeria hurriedly signed the Green Tree agreement can still not be fathomed. She was not obligated to sign that agreement. Examples are bound all over the world of countries that ignore international community without being sanctioned. Israel has been sitting on Arab lands for decades without any sanction. Britain is claiming Falkland Island in the Pacific when it is obvious that that is part of Argentine territory. The US and Russia are still holding firm some Japanese Islands in spite of Japanese opposition.

The Nigerian Senate on 22nd November, 2007, that the withdrawal from the peninsular was illegal. A Federal High Court in a judgment also said that the Federal Government should suspend the withdrawal until all resettlement issues have been settled. The Federal Government ignored these and went ahead to handover the territory to Cameroun.

Nigeria has ten years to appeal the judgment. The ten years elapses by 10th October, 2012. If by this date, Nigeria never appeals, then Bakassi is gone forever. The implications are serious. The security implications are there. It means that Nigeria’s territorial waters would be reduced. This will be worsened with the National Boundary Commission’s adjustment of the maritime boundary. It will lead to other struggles by the neighbouring countries of Cameroun, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe.

Nigeria will become vulnerable to attacks. The economic resources in the area will become free to be plundered especially France and Cameroun. The people of Bakassi will be homeless as where they are even being harboured now is raising tension. Those left in the peninsular are being over taxed, raped, their fishing gears seized from them and social amenities not provided.

Nigeria has a very good ground to appeal the ICJ judgment. The people were never consulted before being relocated to another country. Their fundamental human rights have been breached. The cultural affinity between the Bakassi people and Clabar is never in doubt. The treaty which was the basis of the judgment was signed without the people’s consent. The people of Bakassi must not be abandoned. The Nigerian Government has almost abandoned the Bakassi people. They cannot vote. They are still in refugee camps. The Bakassi people were never settled. Today, they have no means of livelihood. Only about a hundred houses were built for a population that Wikipedia estimates to be between 150,000 and 300,000 people.

Nigeria must be able to protect her people and territory. Let her start doing that now by appealing the ICJ judgment. No inch of this country must be lost.

Eddy Aghanenu

Article Source: Masterweb Reports

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27 comments

Comment from: Steve . [Visitor]
Steve .what can we do as concerned people . Is there nobody in the senate and house of rep from calabar that can champion this course . Must we keep quiet and allow France backed Cameroon take over our territory ? Even if there is nothing called Nigeria anymore ,those people should be allowed to make their choice . Obasanjo was working on his third term agenda when he made that blunder as well as betraying Mr tailor to gain audience with George Bush . Our politicians can give their parents to ritualist to win common election . Nigerians refuse to call OBJ for questioning over that singular madness . I am a Yoruba man but since the incident of Bakasi , I 've not been able to forgive Obasanjo . Let us move at once and stop talking let the action start now BAKASI IS OUR AND CAMEROON WILL FOREVER REMAIN TOO SMALL TO WRESTLE BAKASI WITH US .
07/17/12 @ 22:18
Comment from: abubakar soliu [Visitor]
abubakar soliuwhat can we still do for these people ruling us they have noting for their nation except their mission.pls people of calabar stand up to raise this issue before it will over britain have noting to offer nigeria.let us join our hands to fight against the earlier gowon stupidity and resent obasanjo madness.to have our land back
07/18/12 @ 04:19
Comment from: oluchi [Visitor]
oluchiThis article is very pathetic, our problem is greedy, selfish and selfcentred leaders, in our country instead of pursuing the main issues they will be chasing shadows (political power). If the Nigerian government doesn't want to do anything, why can't Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom states governors do something for their people or is it because it does not affect their home town? Obasanjo and Gowon have sold the land to Cameroon, can't our leaders in National Assembly appeal against the ICJ? Please make haste while the sun shine.
07/18/12 @ 07:40
Comment from: ekpe okon effiong [Visitor]
ekpe okon effiongIt is rather unfortunate that in nigeria we do not have listening leaders who considers the interest of the masses above themselves, they also lack political will to stand and maintain the truth, Let the senate help us as nigerians as our representatives have failed. please let us appeal now before october 2012.Evidences abound that Bakasi belongs to calabar in cross river state, nigeria founded in 17th century by Abasi Eke of obutong caled by indigines akai abasi eke --framed by britsh as bakasi. sad to say nigeria was the to receive judgement from ICJ and the first to ignorantly and hurriedly handover their treasre (bakasi) to undesreved camerounians. May God hlp us. NIGERIA ARISE!!!
07/18/12 @ 08:54
Comment from: koko [Visitor]
kokoPlease what needs to be done? what is the process for an appeal?
07/18/12 @ 09:14
Comment from: Tina [Visitor]
TinaPlease let those in authority do something about it with immediate effect, before the October dateline.I am from the middle belt,but I was so mad with OBJ`s decision of handling Bakasi to Cameroon.Let concern Nigerians, especially the south south cry aloud with one voice for the ICJ`s judgement to be appealed, in order to undo this madness.
07/18/12 @ 09:21
Comment from: George Amir jnr [Visitor] Email
George Amir jnrthis is total madness...help can object and Gowon deprieved Bakassi people in name of.leadership? If nobody is willing 2 appeal, I ll. what are the procedures?
07/18/12 @ 11:44
Comment from: stanley sekibo [Visitor]
stanley sekiboGod help us. i think there is no time for blame, the president is from south south let him help is people before is too late. if our 4fathers that doesn't have all the degrees, have the wisdom not to sign the agreement with the British!i wonder the kind of wisdom this so-called present leaders have? with all the degrees, they don't have head to solve common solution. even if they don't want to follow up the case they should just appeal to keep the case going; one day God will give us a leader that has the people in is mind to govern us. these are some of the issues i am expecting Mr.President to tackle. i pray God to give him the wisdom to understand and help his people.
07/18/12 @ 12:35
Comment from: jimmy [Visitor] Email
jimmyLet the determination of people's right and UN chapter of human right, for SELF DECLAREATION OF DEPENDANCE STATES OF BAKASSI PENINSULAR immediately. and also call upon all Militan groups In Niger Delta , MEND, MSSOB,NDLF, Cross river state, akwa ibom, south- south, south west, south east,northern amd boko Haram to stand upon and defends bakassi pennisular. becouse the jugement so called green tea was 419th and illegal. Therefore the federal Governmernt must moves immediate effect before the dateline expire and declaim their loss treasury by appearl the case in the court system
07/18/12 @ 14:08
Comment from: julius odey [Visitor]
julius odeyNigerian is too big for one man to decide,obansanjo is a mere mortal that will soon pass away,but baskasi will ever remain as long as there is a nation called nigeria.One of they reason france and cameroon are interested in that area is because they whole of cameroon and france there is no natural resources put together by those countries can be compared to bakasi.Its obvious that its because of they rich marine and oil resources deposited there by God,that is why they are bent on having that area.This is the time our leaders should act and let they people of bakasi and nigerians as a whole be proud of them.May God help us.
07/18/12 @ 15:12
Comment from: Ifeanyi [Visitor]
IfeanyiHistory and Posterity will never forgive Gowon, Obasanjo, and the past and present Nigerian Leaders if Nigeria eventually lose Bakassi reason being that it will perpetuate the agony our fellow compatriot are bieng compelled to experience therein for as long as they cry out in reaction to these pains, God will continue to hear them. who knows, the insecurity problem in Nigerian may be the result of their prayers. I therefore urge our Leaders to wake up from their slumber reclaim this territory as well as save these our brothers from their present anguish and lamentations Ten years is a long enough time to appeal this ICJ judgement. Again, our leaders should wake-up, they have slept enough.
07/18/12 @ 15:30
Comment from: Pastor S C Nwadioha [Visitor]
Pastor S C NwadiohaThanks M r Eddy A for bringing to thge issue of Bakasi to light, it is important for all to know that so long as Bakasi does not form part of the northern or western states the government of Nigeria will not fight to regain it or fifgt to protect the citizens.
it is also regrettable that the government of Nigeria accepted the ICJ judgement knowing fully that an European will not allow an African on its behalf to sign any agreement that will be against its political or commercial interest.
07/18/12 @ 20:27
Comment from: crisdels Chris Nnadede [Visitor]
crisdels  Chris NnadedeIn fact, BAKASSI IS WORTH DYING FOR.
07/19/12 @ 01:58
Comment from: Ado Dakata [Visitor]
Ado DakataWe need to know that our leaders are mostly part of the Jimmy carter's forum created for the purpose of under-developing Africa with specific reference to Nigeria that is why they sign such a treaty knowing very well that Bakassi belong to Nigeria not any other country.Let us keep on prayer hard prayers may Allah in his infinite mercy bring back Bakassi home and protect all its inhabitant from the tyrants.Our leaders should know that they are not pegans they all people of religion and in every religion human right must be safe guarded.Let our leaders know that they will surely account for all their deeds.
07/19/12 @ 04:37
Comment from: yahaya [Visitor]
yahayathe earth is the lord and the fullness there of, if the lord wills it no amount of appeal will bring Bakasi back to nigeria, remember he owns the universe; that is why no one will remove isreal out of the ARABS territory, infact let the whole world rise against Isreal, that territory remains their habitation.

07/19/12 @ 05:14
Comment from: Diogo [Visitor]
DiogoLet us demostration agaisnt the leaders of today in order to remind them of our father's land which cameraoun are claiming since we still have chance to pursue it
07/19/12 @ 06:02
Comment from: `ZAMANI CHINTIF [Visitor]
`ZAMANI CHINTIFPLEASE AND PLEASE LET THE NIGERIA SENATE MOVE THE FGN TO APPEAL FOR THE RECLAMATION OF THAT TERRITORY B4 THAT DATE IF NOT THE PEOPLE FROM THAT AREA WILL NOT BE HAPPY WITH THESE PRESENT GOVT. sO MAKE THE MOVE FAST, RERMAIN ONLY TWO MONTHS TO THE DATELINE.
lET MOVE NIGERIA TOGETHER.
07/19/12 @ 10:43
Comment from: jimmy [Visitor]
jimmyIt is the promised land almight God looks upon his children. they crying of the people of bakassi pennnisular and the suffering melt to them by judement ICJ the France and Camerron Armies, God answering their prayer and brought in the current president and his kins bakassi to correct the mistakes caused by Obasanjo, Gowon and those crook behind this messes, that never represent the interested of the nation. He made 0basanjo to pay for his sins and lose the 3th terms and also looks upon yau'rua his dead. Maybe if yau'rua was still lives and in presidency he would probably says ' NO GOING BACK THE ISSUED OF BAKASSI, he made him to pass away and brought in president Johnathan in power. Now if the current president mistaken by letting this issued sweep under the carpet by failure to reclaims this treasury, believe me Nigeria is in TROUBLE, Equatorl Guinea, Camerroun, Saotome and principe and france are the real enemies the national boundary commission will never stands on nigeria side, and more lands will loss forever
07/19/12 @ 14:55
Comment from: Chizy [Visitor] Email
ChizyWel, its unfotunat d presnt leader who hapn 2 com 4rm d sam sout-sout is weaker dan his born, i tink Obii nd Gowon hs don dia part 2 shw dat dey re nt 4rm south but i stil tank God Jonathan is 4rm south-south but if we eva los dis bakassi Jonathan should jst liv dat seat nd hang himsef bcs he's only bt a waist 2 d niger delta entirely. Our leaders hv sold dia rights nd respets 2 selfishnes nd gredinesgr nd i tink 9ja ppl die away fear of dia prison nd death which is d highes tin dey can do. (d most bloody tenur in 9ja)
07/19/12 @ 18:47
Comment from: Umezuruike [Visitor]
UmezuruikePresident GEJ
Stamp your name on the sand of history for posterity by stoping and correcting the wickedness and the injustices of Gowon and Obasanjo in the ceding of part of Nigerian territory (the bakassi peninsula) to cameroon
07/20/12 @ 06:32
Comment from: AJU AMOS [Visitor]
AJU AMOSIt is a pity to this country call Nigeria. How can Comeron that was part of Nigeria collect what belong to Nigerian becouse France is backing them, are we thinking righly to sublet the GOD GIVEN LAND to comeron? Tell it to OBASANJO and JONATHAN, Our current leaders , that Cross River People via BAKASSI People are suffering.
07/20/12 @ 10:09
Comment from: Umeohaka Emma [Visitor] Email
Umeohaka EmmaPls this article shld be forwarded to President Jonathan, David Mark, Aminu Tambuwaal, Nigeria Govs Forum especially the South-South group. What may come from givin away Bakassi may be worse than BOKO HARAM.
07/20/12 @ 15:31
Comment from: Daniel E. Asuquo [Visitor]
Daniel E. AsuquoI thank God 4 all the concerned Nigerians who are ready to support 'the BAKASSI reclaimation struggle'. I am from Effiat in Mbo LGA. AKS., A sister community to the Bakassi. We suffer the same fate with those in de pennisular. Our men (fishermen) complained on daily bases on the brutality meted to them by the camerounian forces. We need your assistance pls. Thanks
07/23/12 @ 02:56
Comment from: jimmy [Visitor]
jimmyI asking in the name of GOD to the people of God given land BAKASSI, the God of lsrael is with you forever and forever be ready to march and life up your FREEDOM FLAG of INDEPENDENCE STATES OF BAKASSI, bejony the borders from north to the south and the west to east wards, be ready to firing a shot, and bring a fight to the enemy or bring enemy to the fight. if a shot is not firing the world would never listening to you until when this shot is being fired. You are not alone for this struggle and the world are watching you according to the history of world war 2 it is italian mafia who leads the war and without these 3 groups of people italian mafia, mexican cartel and columbus mafia they would never be the world news and they are ready to come over to help you. becouse they knows your suffering melted to you by misjudement
07/23/12 @ 15:09
Comment from: geh [Visitor]
gehThose of you who think Cameroon is too small to be crushed "Try it"Cameroon is a BLESSED territory.From all your comments, all i have gathered is brutality.Sorry to say this
,i think Nigerians have a serious problem ,this explains why the even always fight against one another.Solve what is inside first before going out there.But if you think only fighting will be the remedy ,push on and see the precaution.If Cameroonians were scared,then the peninsular will be given to Nigeria."We are ready for the worse,try and see".
07/31/12 @ 08:22
Comment from: OFONIME OKON [Visitor]
OFONIME OKONVERY PATHETIC. WHEN WILL OUR LEADERS WAKE-UP FROM THEIR DOGMATIC SLUMBER?

SOBS!
08/04/12 @ 03:53
Comment from: obemeata p abraham [Visitor]
obemeata p abrahamNow we must read the hand writing on the wall that the government has no interest in her citizens,all they care about is the looting and stealing away our God giving resources.

The Bakassi people must fight and protect their lands and not wait for a toothless bull dog government who are so chicken hearted to take decissions when it is most needed.
09/11/12 @ 00:38

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