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Bakassi: Whose Fault Is It?

[center]Yester'night  we are together

in the moon

listening to lullaby

young kids, full of life

and many dreams to achieve

but in our slumber

we could see them enter

cartted away

our own brothers

in the dream

we cry out louder

but grandfather insist we let them be

, in our presence

they milked them dry

, the land was Molested

and their mouth tapped

our own brothers

will now become strangers

i pray it will only be a dream

but tell me, where is BAKASSI?

,

The issue of BAKASSI is not a joke, it is something that  has kept me worried for some weeks now with lots of questions , WHO IS TO BE BLAME?, IS THERE ANY SHORT CUT?, CAN'T WE HOLD ON TO IT?, WHY?, AND MOST OF ALL, THE ULTIMATE QUESTION, IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE A RESIDENT OF BAKKASSI,NOW YOU ARE A NIGERIAN BUT WHAT IF  YOU WAKE UP TOMORROW AND YOU DISCOVER YOU ARE NO LONGER A NIGERIAN BUT A CAMEROUNIAN!!! AND WILL HENCEFORTH NEED A VISA TO VISIT YOUR RELATIONS IN THE NEXT TOWN!!! AS WEIRD AS THIS MIGHT SOUND, BELIEVE ME THIS IS THE EXACT SITUATION MORE THAN A MILLION NIGERIANS WILL FIND THEMSELFS TOMORROW  14TH DAY OF AUGUST 2008,WHEN NIGERIAN WILL BE HANDING OVER BAKASSI TO CAMEROUN ON A PLATTER OF GOLD!!! YET OUR GRANDFATHERS KEEP MUTE AND SEE NO REASON WHY THEY NEED TO APOLOGISE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND DECISIONS TO SELL A PART OF NIGERIA  INCLUDING FELLOW NIGERIANS OFF TO THE FRANCOPHONE COUNTRY!!! NOW THE FRENCH WILL REJOICE AS THEY WILL DOMINATE CAMEROUN AND TAP UNLIMITED CRUDE OIL IN BAKASSI , ONLY GOD KNOW WHERE OUR GRANDFATHERS WILL SELL NEXT, MAYBE LAGOS BUT I AM SURE IS NOT ABUJA!!!!'

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60 answers

Before you blame anyone for the lost of Bakassi peninsular, please make sure you are well versed in the issue and by that, i do not mean what you read in your local dailies.

An issue as sensitive as this, is not exactly the type for which historical revisionism and negationism should be used to justify a particular grievance.

The truth of the matter is this, Bakassi has never been part of the territory of Nigeria.

Let me explain,

As you all know, Nigeria was formed by the unification of the Southern protectorate with the Northern protectorate and Lagos colony in 1914. And those territories are what was the original Nigeria. But in 1914, world war 1 started in Europe and as part of its global war campaign, Britain sent an expeditionary force made up of the West African Frontier Force (mostly the soldiers are Nigerians of the Hausa constabulary force and a regiment from gold coast (Ghana)) into southern Cameroon. I have no knowledge of the military campaign. But in 1919, at the Versailles treaty that formerly ended the first world War, the surrender of Germany was accepted with certain conditions that are inserted into the treaty by the French to punish the Germans. one of these clauses was that Germany ceded its control over all its colonies. Britain therefore Proclaimed mandate over southern Cameroon while France took the north. To reduce administrative difficulties, the British government joined the new mandate territory with Nigeria and together they were administered for 5 decades. That is why the original name of Zik's party was the National Congress of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC). the name was later changed when in 1961 Southern Cameroon formed a political union with northern Cameroon but the initials remain the same.

When southern Cameroon joined the Republic of Cameroon, not all the territory it came with in 1919 were given over. Nigeria maintained its sovereignty over large parcels of land that actually belong to Southern Cameroon to this day, these lands are mostly in the former gongola state (adamawa bendel e.t.c) Bakassi is one of  such places.

If Nigeria were to give back all the territories that belong to southern Cameroon in 1919, the map of Nigeria would slightly change from the east up across the benue and into north central Nigeria.

This is the history and one of the arguments made by Cameroon at the ICJ.

That been said, if it was up to me, I will not give up one iota of Bakassi to the Cameroon,

The ICJ is a lame institution with minimal authority. it will take a UNSC resolution for any of its rulings to be unilaterally implemented. I cant imagine anyone voting for Cameroon against Nigeria in the security council.

The Senate shouldn't have ratified the treaty, they should have told Cameroon to go hug Fukushima Nuclear reactor.

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Thanks, I didnt know that either.

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Gowon, western and northern Nigeria.

In an atrocious and wicked move to starve the eastern children to death, they sold off our brothers and their oil.

My heart goes out to the Bakassi indigenes.

when u have a historical persepective of the Bakassi issue,you'll only feel sorry for this country.well i hope by now our leaders then will cover their faces in shame for what they've done,all for greed.

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Our pasts Presidents!!!

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Another interesting report: http://www.gamji.com/

SMC/002/07

24 May 84.

Lt-Col Dan P Archibong

The Military Governor

Cross River State

Calabar.

NIGERIA/CAMEROUN BORDER

The attention of the Federal Military Government has been drawn to the petition of 10th November, 1983, addressed to the then Governor of Cross River State, Chief Donald Etiebet by the Chiefs and elders of Abana Atuen-Effiat and copied to the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly etc. The community had written to protest vehemently against alleged acts of brutality inflicted on the citizens of Effiat/Mbo Local Government Area by Cameroun gendarmeries. They alleged that on 10th November, 1983, at about 5 a.m., the gendarmeries molested them and emphasized that they should pay tax to the Government of Cameroun. The community had asserted in the petition that they are Nigerians living on Nigerian soil and fishing in Nigerian territorial waters, and that villages like Abana Ntuen, Atabong, Edem Abasi, Ine Odong, Ine Atayo, Ine Akpak with a total population of over 500,000 people were being administered by the Nigerian Government even before the advent of missionaries in Calabar. Consequently, they urged government to take urgent and decisive action to protect the citizens of Cross River State at Abana Ntuen from being tortured and killed on their soil.

2. The Cross River State House of Assembly which subsequently debated the report insinuated Federal Government’s neglect of the community and, accordingly, called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to halt the disgraceful and inhuman actions of the gendarmeries and save the lives of the affected citizens. The Nigerian press including the “Nigerian Chronicle” of 23rd November, 1983 and the “Nigerian Herald” of 1st December, 1983 which reported the proceedings of the House of Assembly had highlighted alleged invasion of Nigerian villages by Cameroun gendarmeries. The attention of the Secretary to the Cross River State Government was earlier drawn to the present intransigence of the affected community towards the Cameroun authorities vide the letter No. 21/Vol.XX/668 of 22nd June, 1983. Nonetheless, the apparent continuance of misrepresentations demand that the Nigeria/Cameroun border problem should be put once again in its correct perspective.

3. The boundary between Nigeria and Cameron is predicated on the Anglo-German treaty of 1913, copy attached as Annex 1. Before the Nigerian Independence in 1960, the Bakassi Peninsula which lies between the Akwayefe River (Akpayefe) and the Rio-del-Rey estuary was administered by Nigeria as part of Southern Cameroun . As a result, there was free movement of people. However, following the subsequent reunification of Southern Cameroun with Cameroun Republic in 1961, the border took a new complexion apparently unknown to the Nigerian fisherman who thought that since they were linguistically linked with one another in the creeks, they were in Nigerian territory. The erroneous impression gained ground as both Nigeria and Cameroun Governement made no visible move to assert their authority in the creek areas. The situation, however, changed dramatically when in 1973 Cameroun decided to substitute the names of their fishing settlements bearing indigenous Nigerian names with Camerounian names. Unfortunately our maps had continued to carry the old Nigerian names while Nigerians constituted more than 90% of the population of the Bakassi Peninsula which has been focal point in dispute. Some of those Nigerians had been inhabiting the area even before the 1913 treaty. The prevailing situation in the area had created the illusion that the territory is ours whenever there is a conflict and the Nigerian press did not help matters by giving erroneous impression that the area concerned is part of Nigeria. The security and law enforcement agents equally had their share of the blame as they carried out their operations under the impression that the area East of the Akpayefe River belong to Nigeria.

This is far from the truth.

4. Several attempts had been made by Nigeria and Cameroun to settle the border disputes. A technical committee comprising officials of both countries was set up in June 1965 to settle a land dispute between the people of Danari in Ekong Division of Nigeria and Boudam in Cameroun . The survey work which followed was aborted at the start of the Nigerian Civil War. Another committee was set up in 1970 which after holding several meetings arrived at the famous “Coker/ Ngoh” line. The new boundary line drawn on sheet 3433 attached as Annex 11 to this letter was rejected by the Nigerian Government as it obstructed the navigable part of the Calabar channel.

5. The problem of the maritime border henceforth featured prominently in subsequent discussions held between the then- Head of the Federal Military Government, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and President Ahmadu Ahidjo in Garoua from 4th to 6th August, 1972, in Kano from 30th August to 1st September, 1974, and in Maroua from 30th May to 1st June, 1975. The last meeting resulted in the issuing of the “Maroua Declaration” attached as Annex 111 and the demarcation by the Head of State shown on chart 3433. The two Heads of State thought that they had found a lasting solution to the border problems. However, following the overthrow of the Gowon administration 2 months latter, the succeeding military administration found the declaration completely unacceptable. The declaration was accordingly repudiated by General Olusegun Obasanjo during his meeting with President Ahidjo in Garoua from 7th to 9th Ausust, 1977. Cameroun on its part has since been reluctant to re-open the issue.

6. Meanwhile, a conducive atmosphere is yet to be found to review the situation due mainly to the following intervening incidents:

( i ) the arrest of the district head of Idabato and 8 Camerounian Armed Forces personnel on 21st June, 1981, following their incursion into Nigerian territory. Although the Cameroun functionaries were released soon afterwards the arms taken from them were returned after a special plea made by President Ahmadu Ahidjo during his visit to Nigeria in January, 1982; and

(ii) the ambush and resultant killing of 5 Nigerian soldiers by Camerounians on 16th May, 1981 following which the Nigerian Government insisted upon and obtained compensation for the bereaved Nigerian families.

7. Every avenue is still being explored to get the two countries to agree on a final demarcation of the maritime border. Meanwhile, as reports of alleged harassment and extortion of Nigerian fisherman by Cameroun gendarmes, frequent incursions by the security agents of both countries across the ill-defined border, and continuing resistance by the Nigerian living in the Bakassi peninsula to pay tax to Cameroun continue to be received, I should emphasize that the Bakassi peninsula and the Rio-Del-Rey estuary are definitely in Cameroun territory. Although the border is yet to be demarcated it would be indefensible to lay claim to any areas eastwards from the thalweg of the Akwayafe River. Copies of the map of Ikang, sheet 332 attached hereto as Annex iv have accordingly been made available for the guidance of Nigerian security agencies, to ensure that they confine their activities to Nigerian territory. In taking the foregoing steps, it is expected that the tension generated in the area as a result of the unlawful incursions by both sides would be reduced especially with the additional effort of the Nigerian Ambassador in Cameroun who has been implored to press his host Government to accept its responsibilities under the 1913 treaty. Cameroun is obliged to allow Nigerians residing in the border areas to pursue their livelihood without undue harassment. To assist in keeping peace in the areas it is necessary to persuade those Nigerians in territories known to belong to Cameroun to give due regard to and cooperate with their host country in the interest of all concerned. They should be left in no doubt as to the possible serious consequences to themselves, in the first place, and to relations between Nigeria and Cameroun, of their continued recalcitrance. It is understood that the inhabitants of most of the islands on the Cameroun side, with the exception of the island of Njabane (Atabong) have in fact, started to cooperate with the Cameroun authorities. To encourage this positive development, you should facilitate the usual exchange of visits with the Governor of the Littoral Province in Cameroun , and such other steps that will impress on the minds of the local inhabitants that they cannot change boundaries. On the whole, public enlightenment on the issue is necessary at your end, while diplomatic efforts are being made to resolve the issue for the mutual benefit of the two neighboring African Nations.

V.L. ODUWAIYE

Rear Admiral

for Chief of Staff

Supreme Headquarters

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This report is quite informative about the background of Bakassi. Look at this excerpt on page 18, http://www.omoigui.com/files/the_bakassi_story.pdf

The federal plan was to link up through Oban with 1st Division federal elements coming

down from Ikom against Biafran forces led by Lt. Col. Ochei. The objective was to cut

off the Biafran border point with Cameroun at Ikang. This was finally achieved in

December. However, the road to Ikom along with the towns of Ikot Okpara, Amolo

Water Town, Mbabu Owa and Agobi-Iwolo were not taken until the end of January 1968,

courtesy of a controversial Biafran withdrawal ordered by European mercenaries hired by

Ojukwu. Note that in his book "My Command" written by General Obasanjo (rtd) and

published by Heinemann in 1981, all the maps of that sector show the Bakassi peninsula

in Cameroun (page 93). In his book “The Struggle for Secession, 1966-1970. Frank

Cass, 1971” N.U. Akpan, the Secretary to the Eastern Regional and later Biafran

government, who is himself of South-Eastern origin, also shows the Bakassi peninsula in

Cameroun in a map titled “Map of Eastern Nigeria declared Biafra, 30th May, 1967”

(page 20). The war did not begin until July 6th.

So it looks like there has been a long period of recognition that this territory belong to Cameroon.

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@huxley

We consciously took the Bakassi case to the ICJ and swore we would abide by the outcome, no matter which way it went before the result came out.

Were we forced to take the case to the ICj? Why did Nigerians not make a fuss about the issue then?

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Where are the so called South-south leaders of thought? The Diete-spiffs, the Ediwin Clarks, Ken saro wiwas, etc who thought that the Biafran struggle was an opportunity to vanquish their Igbo cousins. Save for the likes of M.T Mbu and others, I would have urged Cameroon to go after Calabar next, then PH, and Warri! You see how easy it was for Gowon and OBJ to exchange a stripe of desert land in the north for a whole LGA in the south. Did somebody say everything east of the Niger belongs to Cameroon? Well, the ICJ with its French president will determine all that.

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Some historical background of the Bakassi region here: http://www.omoigui.com/files/the_bakassi_story.pdf

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I have just read up on some background to the disputed territory and it seems to me that this is another case of high politics and international affairs arrogantly riding roughshod over the sentiments of the people involved.

The people in Bakassi clearly self-identify as Nigerians and have been under Nigerian administration for many decades. They should have held a plebiscite there to give the people a chance to express their opinions. Such was the case in the 60s when many lands swapped sides, some going to Nigeria, some to Cameroon.

In my opinion, this decision is triumph of arrogant and high-handed international politics over the desires of the local people. It is decisions of these nature that lay the ground for future resentments and unrests such as we are seeing in Georgia over Ossetia.

The Nigeria government should be commended for exercising such restraints and being reasonable with the negotiations. If Bakassi is to remain a Cameroonian territory, I wonder whether the Bakassians will soon forget that there were once administered from Nigeria, much like the other Nigerians who once belonged to the German administered Kamerun are living peacefully in Nigeria.

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The ceding of over 300,000 Efiks to the blood thirsty Cameroonian government by equally bloodthirsty Nigeria should serve as a clear warning to East and SOUTH that its time to unite and quit the divisions we have created among us. I mean how can you simply sell off 300,000 ppl in their to another country without their consent? Its clear to me that as usual Nigeria does not give a Bleep about what we want. They never wanted to be ceded to another nation. We never wanted to be with Nigeria but with Biafra after the genocides. The oil producing states in the East/South want to manage their resources, benefit from it and also reduce the environmental damages that are going to have long term implications. NIGERIA SAID NO TO ALL.

People talk about relocating them elsewhere like as if you will like to be uprooted from your own native land taken somewhere else. I mean are they getting compensated? Hell no. Bakassi belongs to the Efik people and they should have a greater say so than anyone but oh well they are Easterners so who gives a Bleep about them or their land.

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The primary question we should be asking ourselves in this day and age is

"What is the proper and responsible way for determining the borders of states and countries"

Or for that matter within states, what are the proper and responsible way for deciding the borders between ethnically different regions within the same country/state, say the borders between Yoruba land and Igbo land?

I see some people here rattling their sabers and calling for severe repercusions one those responsible for the peaceful transfer of Bakkasi to Cameroon. I would venture to ask, "In which country did this land belong 100 years ago and how would the then residents have self-identified?"

Most of the states of the world are constituted by a patchwork of several ethnically different peoples living together on the same administrative authority. Think of Europe today. Most of central Europe from regions like Belgium, parts of France, Germany etc could have made claims of belonging to different state than were they are today. After the 1st world war, there was essentially a major redrawing of borders. These regions no live peacefully in new Europe that is advancing ever so rapidly and getting closer together under one governance. I think we Africans should learn from this. Alas, we may still have many dunces about who can only think in a small-minded regionalistic/nationalistic sense.

In international affairs, the honouring of agreements is considered a very gentlemanly type of conduct. If it is the case that this territory was used as a bargaining chip during the Biafra war, and there is evidence for that, then I think it behoves the Nigerian government to honour that deal. I particularly do not consider this story as true, it may only be aprocryphal. Was the territory in disputed then? Why would it have been worthy of been given away?

I wonder if both countries would have laid such a strong claim on this land had it been a poor wilderness. I bet the people of Bakkasi and their immediate neighbours (including humanitarians on both sides) are happy that little or no blood has been split of this little piece of territory.

Would be interesting to know what factors played in Cameroons favour in their claim for the territory apart from the so-called Biafra war deal. Without such a deal, and if it is true that the majority population currently self-identify as Nigerian, then it would stand to reason that the territory should have gone to Nigeria. There surely are other prevailing factors.

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Cameroun might soon regret accepting Bakassi especially when the militants start kidnapping people in Yaunde and Duala!

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I do sincerely pity the displaced inhabitants of Bakassi but I don't give a SH1T about the loss of the land itself. How can you sell something and you still hold on tight to it after evolution has overtaken the proceeds of the sale?

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Nobody forced him to sign.

He could as well said, he would not sign, till Nigeria National Assembly approves.

US/UK/UN cannot force him to put pen to paper.

OBJ had chance to put a stop. He did not. He failed himself.

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Why wont Bakassi go or do they want to sell it again to Ghana just like houses are rented to different people at the same time in Lagos? Bakassi is/was a concluded transaction meant to conquer Biafra and now ironically, it has also conquered Nigeria. And you guys think karma is one of Seun's humans-don't-turn-into-animal theory

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I have followed with interest the wave of emotions over the Bakassi issue. I giggle anytime i read or hear comments about the matter. In fact, last week Tuesday and Wednesday, all the discussion programmes on radio were so irritating. My grouse with people is this;you blame Obasanjo for ceding the place to Cameroon, for heaven's sake, the only reasonable thing the man could do was to sign the agreement. Again, i ask, the judgement was delivered by the I.C.J well over two years ago, why did we(yes, all those shouting now) not react then? We kept quiet, they signed the Greentree agreement, nobody reacted. So, why the noise now? My concern is that Nigeria has failed the Bakassi people by not preparing to absorb them into a community here in Nigeria. I read a report that a village in China, with the population of over 1 million(yes,ONE MILLION) people were relocated to another place because there was imminent earthquake. Now, Bakassi people are about 300,000. Why did we not provide alternative settlement for them, instead we are busy making noise on media. It's not right!

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Ozi nothing do you, spark!

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I am happy for you mojojojo.

Shey because you are not one of the displaced former residents of bakassi abi??

Too bad we have lost one of our largest reserves to ordinary Cameroun.

War would have been a welcomed alternative, afterall no be Russia dey panel Georgia.

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LET BAKASSI GO.

The government tried everything. Went to court and lost. Nigeria is like no other country in Africa. It is a leader country and therefore must appear to respect rules and court decisions. Cameroon has a greater claim to the land of Bakassi than we do, period.

Instead of castigating the government let us be proud of our government for taking a very hard and hurtful decision that many countries like Russia, India, Pakistan, e.t.c are unable to make. This single decision has shown the world that african countries are not savages ready to take up arms against each other to solve the simplest disagreements.

I for one am proud that my country was the first in Africa to take such a monumental decision.

The alternative to this resolution is war.

Na who 4 dis place wan risk his life fight 4 Bakassi.

no one shey, dats what i thought?

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The ICJ does not resolve the dispute over Abkhazia and South Ossetia but readily tells Nigeria to hand over Bakassi to Cameroun.

What is easier? Let Russia have South Ossetia (>70% of whose citizen already hold Russian nationality) or Nigeria to cede Bakassi ( all of whose citizens are Nigerian)?

What is more important? The land or the people on the land? In such cases as Bakassi, a plebiscite that takes into view the desire of the people should be effected. Would the Cameroonians treat the Bakassians as brothers? What if they are marginalized or systematically eradicated and the land repopulated with bona fide Cameroonians? The ICJ might have succeeded in curtailing the present human rights of African fishermen while upholding the legality of yesteryear's colonial activities.

Territories are ceded by weaker nations to stronger ones. Cameroon has just proved to be the stronger nation- if not militarily at least diplomatically. Shame on us!

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I'm sure some ethnic bigots have succeded in making this forum an avenue to pour their anger at others for their misfortune.

But, how many of us really know the history of this BAKASSI?

Had oil been found there before the fate of this region was decided by the colonial lords?

Have we found out that a part of Northern Cameroon was ceded to Nigeria in a plebscite while the Southern that was erstwhile Nigerian (including Bakassi) agreed to go with Cameroon.

Why was the NCNC formerly National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons was later changed to National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC)?

please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Council_of_Nigeria_and_the_Cameroons

However my grouse with leadership in Nigeria are as follows:

Truly, Nigerians have lived in the place for several years. So, why did we not insist in view of prevalent realities that another referedum be conducted to determine their fate, if the much touted United Nations chater of Right to self determination is not a ruse afterall?

Why didn't our former President (OBJ) consult with the people ( i mean Nigerians) and their representatives in the National Assembly before ratifying the Green Tree Treaty?

Why didn't we explore all diplomatic means by courting the favours of other members of the UN Security Council since France had gone the way of Cameroon?

For the ethnic chauvinists, ponder on these:

During the Civil War, the people of the South South willingly agree to go with Biafra or they were just caught in the cross-fire?

Knowing Nigerian leadership, would Ojukwu not have agreed to cede Bakassi to Cameroon if France had given that option to give him full support?

Was the Biafran Army really in control of the South South during the Civil war?

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Babe you can go to Hell for all I cares if you don't like reading my post, Jump inside ocean. And I'll appreciate if you stop tailing me, I don't follow who I hate.

For posting in Nigerian forum, I'll continue till they restitute my Biafran Passport.

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personally, its annoying to hear someone like oziomatv being called Nigerian. It will only derail the thread.

He will now develop some silly attitude about how he's not Nigerian, like anyone cares what he wants to call himself.

please stop making him think he's all that. Ask him why he insists on mixing with Nigerians on the internet and he wont be able to give a coherent response.

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blame our leaders for not doing what they are suppose to do whether it belong to nigeria or not and nigeria i mean we black we have no fear of God we hate each other only we like our own body may God help dem

they were nigerian they should continue to be so ask ur leaders

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Having identified that as citizens of the country Nigeria our rights are being trampled upon flagrantly by those who are supposed to be representing our interests. Having observed how our resources which is supposed to be used for our development is being siphoned by corrupt and inept elements at the helm of state and bureaucracy. Being witnesses everyday to the unabashed show of this aggrandisement before our very eyes with their state of the art cars and tinted screens, derived from our common resources. Seeing the roads that even these state of the art cars ply as pitiful and deplorable, the roads which most depend on for transit to their daily activities. These same impostors, still unleash oppression and brutality with their application of unemployed youths for violent acts, spawning private militias and armies. All negating the terms of their leadership mandate, all negating the terms of our state contract.

These leaders have breached a contract, although the colonial Britain did not give the people a voice, Nigeria is assumed to be a contract. Now, the people are being cheated and the leadership of this country are in breach of this contract. From the North, to the South, East and West , the majority of the Nigerian people who are`repressed continue to groan under the jackboots of injustice. These`are common Nigerians who would give shelter on a rainy day to even strangers. We`have to have a realistic view of a review of the contract, the few elements who have ascribed to themselves the roles of 'domestic colonists', the ones to be found in every part of the country need to be told that the country is not the preserve of a few but of all. Things cannot just continue to follow the way they have been. It is easy for one to say I can do nothing, but in the actions of one individual acting in consonance with other actions of other individuals a movement is created. Nothing should distinguish you from the state nor from the individuals or institutions who are agents of the state. An individual is at par with the state.

The fear of the state is an aberration when the state is not living up to the terms of her responsibilities. A state that does not give sufficient output commensurate with the input of the society toys with decay. It is the duty of the people that make up a state to be alive to their survival. Nigeria is being threatened by inept leadership and extreme primitiveness in a 21st century world. Our needs have surpassed the capabilities of the present leadership cadre. Nigerians must come alive and speak with one voice as the call is being made.

How many of us are ready for this? This is a question one must answer before one apportions any sort of blame. If one is a part of the decay in any way, then one has no moral stand to apportion blames. . .

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We Biafrans have paid our dues let others fight for theirs please.

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hello, pls do u know anybody with this yahoo id :hellen_backhouse@yahoo.com, i just want to know may be she is a scammer calling herself member of waterloo investment based in london central

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Thanks for your wisdom from the above and hopefully, they will relocate them to your village and let see if your opinion will be the same as now.

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I WANT TO ASK WHAT IF GOWAN FAMILY ARE THERE WILL HE BE ABLE TO GIVE THAT PLACE TO CAMEROUNIAN. WHO I AM TO BLAME FOR ALL THIS IS GOWAN AND BABA. DUE TO BABA SELFISH INTEREST. WHY WILL HE AGREED TO THE WORLD COURT DECISION. EVEN IF IT IS WAR THAT WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT WHY CANT WE FIGHT WHY CANT WE FIGHT THEM OR ARE WE AFRAID OF THEM. IS IT BECAUSE FRANCE ARE GOING TO BACK THEM UP.

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GUYS , I FEEL OUR LEADERS ARE THE WORST SET IN THIS WORLD.

USA, FRANCE @ MANY TIMES ARE NOT IN HASTE OF EFFECTING AGREEMENT WITH THE UN AFTER SIGNING SERIES OF GREEN TREATIES.

NIGERIA'S FOREIGN POLICY IS GENERALLY WEEK WHICH ALLOWS OTHERS NATIONS TO MALTREAT NIGERIAN CITIZENS AND NOTHING HAPPENS.

WE SHOULD REDUCE THIS FRIGING BIG BROTHER AFRICA OF A THING AND CONCENTRATE ON STRENGHTENING OUR FOREIGN POLICY.

I SEE IN YEARS TO COME, A PRESIDENT WHO WILL NOT AGREE WITH THE CEEDING OF BAKASSI TO CAMEROUN , HENCE , A NEW NIGER DELTA AND BATTLE FEILD FOR THE INHABITANTS OF THAT TIME.

LET THE INDIGENES MOVE INTO NIGERIA IF THEY WANT TO REMAIN ALIVE BECAUSE THE CAMEROUNIAN GENDARMES ARE FASHIONED AFTER MILITANTS AND REBELS.

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Hmmmmmm,how ironic

This is a deft stab in the neck back by OBJ

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Completely out of point. Its a pity that one with Nigerian blood running in his veins could be talking this way.

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So much for the obj & yara dull's oft mouthed mantra of citizen diplomacy

Such a shame

Really

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The reality of the loss of Bakassi fully dawned on me yesterday and I'm sure all Nigerians irrespective of the part of the nation one comes from felt and are still feeling the same way. This is a deep inner feeling of outrage and anguish that one can not do anything to assuage. I never really knew I cared this much for my fatherland. And watching the paramount ruler of the Bakassi area on tv yesterday almost brought tears to one's eyes.

But since the ICJ ruling was delivered on Oct. 10, 2002 and the unilateral signing of the Green Tree Agreement by OBJ in 2006, shouldn't the government have prepared suitable accommodations for the people that would be moving away from Bakassi? I learnt the land acquired for that purpose by the FG is still the way it has  been and the people of neighbouring states are now being asked to show hospitality to the Bakassi people. Why is it that our government was quick in accepting the ICJ judgement which was diametrically opposed to the wishes of  most Nigerians and the provison of suitable accommodation for the people became difficult to implement?

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It's a pitty after backing the Nigerian army to fight against the Biafrans  now it's their turn to feel the heat.

       The evil that men do live with them, hope they won't sell entire NigerDelter to MIMBO Mashers

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i weep fo the people of bakassi. as for senator Eze, all they care about is the oil

they dont care about the people living there. from what he said, they realised there's no much oil in bakassi, they forgot there are more than 300,000 residing there. shame to our greedy weak stingy silly inferior leaders. infact i dont want to start cos im boiling right here.

as for Gowon, u're denying, karma will soon catch up with u.

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I guess they want to prevent a Niger Delta situation.

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Shame onto those that have allowed this to come into existence.I really pity those people there.

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SHOOT ON SIGHT

, Gendarmes fire at in-coming Nigerian boats, as border remains closed to Nigerians

• Corpses at Ikang Jetty

From JOSSY IDAM, Calabar

Thursday, August 14, 2008

With more than five days to todays handover D-Day for Bakassi, Cameroon authorities slammed its border firmly shut to Nigerian entrants. And it remained so until today.

However, probably to further drive the fear of Cameroon into the spines of Nigerians operating around the disputed territory the gendarmes seem to have an order to shoot on sight any Nigerian who ventured anywhere around the troubled waters of Bakassi. The unwritten article appeared to be that, while Nigerian boats were allowed out of Bakassi, none was allowed to re-enter.

Gendarmes stationed in the Peninsula now had made sure any Nigerian who managed to vacate, did not come back into the territory for anything.

Those who dared, were shot, killed or wounded. A fisherman, Akpan Udoh who escaped from the place, told Daily Sun at Akpabuyo, Cross River State, that Cameroonian soldiers-gendarmes have gone trigger happy. Speaking through an interpreter, the fisherman said the gendarmes are massed at waterfronts, shooting, killing and destroying boats venturing into the peninsula.

Akpan also revealed that unidentified corpses recently washed up at Abana beach, the hitherto administrative headquarter of Bakassi Local Government Area.

As the today’s handover date of the peninsular drew close, Daily Sun learnt the gendarmes had made life unbearable for Nigerians living there. Another returnee who now lives at a temporary shelter erected by Cross River State government at Ikang, George Okon, accused the gendarmes of looting, Molesting and killing Nigerians in the peninsula at will.

“Not checked by anybody, there’s no Nigerian soldier or police in the area now to protect us. So, the gendarmes treat us like slaves. They take things by force – molest housewives and girls openly. So, no point in my staying there again,” the former school teacher said Tuesday.

A military source told Daily Sun that the gendarmes overkill may not be unconnected with the recent attack on the gendarmes by militants in the area. “It looks like a reprisal attack which has now gone out of control,” the military source said.

http://odili.net/news/source/2008/aug/14/509.html

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Newbie

what facts did the world court base its decision to return Bakassi to Cameroon, on?

I need to look up the history of bakassi.

That Nigerian-Cameroon border to the east has always been a very amorphous one.

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its a shame that an average man wld careless for the loss of bakassi, i 4 1 dont give a hoot wit wat happened coz it didnt add any economic value and wdh, is it worth fightin ova?

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Goodbye Bakassi

Written by Emmanuel Aziken & Inalegwu Shaibu with agency reports

Thursday, August 14, 2008

THE most contentious obstacle to Nigeria’s transfer of the Bakassi Peninsula was removed yesterday, after the Senate gave President Umaru Yar’Adua the go-ahead to proceed with the hand-over.

Not a few Nigerians had drawn the attention of the Federal Government to its failure, up to yesterday, to obtain the approval of the Senate in ceding the Peninsula as required by Section 13 of the 1999 Constitution.

The section says: “No treaty between the Federation and any other country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly.”

Indeed, the endorsement was the reason for the resumption from recess, yesterday, by the Senate.

Just before the Senate gave the green light yesterday, the opposition Action Congress (AC) had issued a statement, asking the Federal Government to defer the handover “if indeed the government believes in its own rule of law and due process mantra.

Explaining the Senate action, following a closed door session, its spokesman, Chief Ayogu Eze, blamed the procedure adopted by the Obasanjo administration for the situation the country now found itself.

He argued that Nigeria could not afford to renege on its international obligations, stressing that the Senate was satisfied with considerations provided for in the Green Tree Agreement on the welfare of displaced persons from the area. He also expressed satisfaction that the agreement had been dressed in a way that would not impede the country’s military interests in the eastern flank.

Senator Eze, all the same, expressed the Senate’s distress at the loss of a part of the country. Nigeria, according to him, is obliged by its commitments to abide by both the ruling of the International Court of Justice and the following Green Tree Agreement.

Senator Eze who also said a fresh draft of the Freedom of Information Bill (FoI) would soon be re-presented to the Senate for consideration, said: “Nigeria is a signatory to the ICJ. Nigeria is a responsible member of the of the international community. Nigeria is an aspiring member of the Security Council. So we have to put all these into a basket.

“We put ourselves in a tight corner. What the President is doing is being careful by making sure that we don’t jeopardise the overall international interest and obligations of Nigeria on account of this unfortunate but avoidable mess in Bakassi.

“But we have already found ourselves there. Nigeria initiated the legal action. We took the matter to the ICJ. If we did not believe in the authority of ICJ, we should not have gone to court in the first place.

“Another view is that, having gone to court, and seen the way it was going, we should have pulled out but we did not do that. We stayed there and the judgement landed on our lap.

“This is a delicate matter and Nigerians should see it as such. There is nobody who is happy that any territory of Nigeria is going away. I know that even when southern Cameroun left, there was a hoopla in the country,” Eze said as he called for caution against entreaties to violence.

Giving the assurances received by the Senate on the issue, he said: “We have already been assured contrary to speculations that that part of Bakassi is not really very heavy with mineral deposit as alleged.”

Besides giving the country’s determination to sustaining the welfare of the citizens of that area, he noted the assurances given on the protection of the country’s military interests in the area.

“The item that consummated the agreement spelt out that on no account should Cameroun constitute an impediment to Nigerian military forces having access or exit from Bakassi into the Nigerian water. That has been the major security issue that was raised and that has been addressed in the Green Tree Agreement,” he said.

AC asks FG to defer Bakassi handover

Earlier yesterday, the Action Congress (AC) asked the Federal Government to defer to a later date the planned handover today of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroun “if indeed the government believes in its own rule of law and due process mantra.”

In a statement in Abuja, its National Publicity Secretary of the AC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the delay would give the government time to submit the Green Tree Agreement to the National Assembly for ratification, thereby ensuring that the laws of Nigeria are not breached just to satisfy the international community.

AC said it backed the argument that the handover of the peninsula to Cameroun would be in vain if the Yar’Adua administration failed to seek the ratification, by the National Assembly, of the agreement it signed in New York with Cameroun over the implementation of the 2002 ruling of International Court of Justice (ICJ).

It said Section 12 (I) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was unambiguous: “No treaty between the Federation and any other country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly.”

The party said if the Yar’Adua administration failed to follow the country’s Constitution and went ahead to hand over Bakassi to Cameroun today, it would have broken the country’s laws and set the stage for the enthronement of arbitrariness and expediency over rule of law and due process.

“Even if the government has scoffed at the ruling of Justice Muhammed Umar of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, restraining the FG from handing over the peninsula until the determination of the case brought by Bakassi indigenes, it cannot afford to trash the Nigerian Constitution.

“The temptation to go ahead with the handover, just to win some immediate favours from the international community, especially by an administration that is standing on one foot, is so great. But succumbing to it will bring more pain than joy at the end.

“We, therefore, join well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to appeal to the Yar’Adua administration to do the right thing before handing over Bakassi, in line with the ICJ ruling. Nothing is sacrosanct about August 14 that it cannot be deferred,” AC said.

Handover holds in Abana

Today’s handover is taking place at Abana, former headquarters of Bakassi Local Government.

The choice of Abana, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was made after an intense security meeting on Tuesday between Cross River Government officials and the Presidency.

It was not clear yesterday the exact place in Abana where the event would take place.

Chief Florence Ita-Giwa, Chairman of Bakassi Resettlement Committee, could not confirm the venue on Tuesday but the Secretary to the Cross River State Government, Mr. Fidelis Ugbo, in a statement confirmed Abana as venue of the ceremony.

The statement, issued on Tuesday, explained that the handing over was in keeping with the judgment of the International Court of Justice at The Hague and in line with Nigeria’s desire to maintain its leadership position in Africa.

“It is also for the country to ensure peace and good neighbourliness in the continent and the world,” the statement added.

It said the Federal Government believed in the rule of law and appealed to the displaced people of Bakassi and other ethnic nationalities to remain calm.

“We urge you all to remain calm and cooperate with the federal and state governments to ensure a smooth and memorable handing over ceremony,”said the statement.

It reminded the people that they were known to be peaceful and hospitable and should live up to the rating. The statement also assured Bakassi people of the state government’s desire to integrate all Nigerians in the area into the economy “by providing ample opportunity for those willing to promote enterprise.”

The government also commended traditional rulers, political stalwarts and leaders of thought of Bakassi people for their understanding over the matter.

Ban Ki-moon hails handover

The handover is expected to put an end to a 15-year dispute over the territory believed to contain considerable oil and gas reserves.

Last week, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed Nigeria’s upcoming transfer as “a model for negotiated settlements of border disputes,” saying it would be “a landmark event.”

Nigeria agreed to transfer Bakassi, which juts into the Gulf of Guinea, two years ago but sporadic gun battles and political and legal disagreements have delayed it.

A Cameroun government official said today’s transfer marked “the end of a crisis” that began in December 1993 when the Nigerian army occupied a number of villages on the peninsula.

Cameroun first took its case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague in March 1994.

After a drawn-out legal battle, the ICJ ruled in October 2002 that the Bakassi peninsula be given to Cameroun. It based its decision largely on a 1913 treaty between former colonial powers Britain and Germany.

Cameroun and Nigeria then signed an accord, known as the Green Tree Agreement, in New York in June 2006 during US-facilitated mediation talks and in the presence of then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

This paved the way for Nigeria’s withdrawal from Bakassi, which is expected to be completed in a flag-exchanging ceremony today.

But the handover has been threatened by last-minute legal challenges and a number of deadly attacks.

Last month, a federal court in Abuja granted an injunction preventing the government from handing over Bakassi to Cameroun by its agreed deadline.

Despite the move, President Umaru Yar’Adua insisted Nigeria would not abandon its international obligations.

The peninsula, which is believed to contain considerable oil and gas reserves as well as rich fishing grounds, has also been the scene of violent attacks in recent months.

Approximately 50 people have been killed in recent clashes between Camerounian soldiers and local armed groups opposed to the transfer in the peninsula that spans 1,000 square kilometres.

Last month, the Niger Delta Defence and Security Council (NDDSC) claimed responsibility for an attack at Kombo Ajanea, in which 12 people died, including two Camerounian soldiers.

The armed Nigerian group threatened further violence unless the transfer of Bakassi is renegotiated.

Although the peninsula’s official population size is not known, it is thought most of its inhabitants are Nigerian, while Camerounians make up the majority of the civil servants and military personnel.

A school head in Akwa, a Cameroun locality from where you can see Nigeria, said he welcomed the transfer. “We are looking forward to August 14 with a lot hope,” Bernard Ambeno said.

http://odili.net/news/source/2008/aug/14/313.html

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Bakassi was ceded to Cameroun by Northerners to ensure they win the Biafran war, so i don't see how westerners came into this argument. Tribal sentiments should be flayed here because it's more advantageous to learn from our mistakes. Honestly, I wished other factions in the country stood behind Biafra and broke away simultaneously. I actually support you on the issue of soldiers maltreating the NDeltans today, one day we'll also pay dearly for that. Obasanjo too will soon pay for his crimes against ODI.

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Shame on you for making this statemnt.

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Quote

BELIEVE ME THIS IS THE EXACT SITUATION MORE THAN A MILLION NIGERIANS WILL FIND THEMSELFS TOMORROW 14TH DAY OF AUGUST 2008

@ poster

Point of correction:

About 300 thousand and not more than a million Nigerians

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I smell some oil exploration has to do with this.

Please don't think the Nigerian government ceded tha land for nothing. I smell negotiations which are going to make some Cameronians and Nigerians rich on the expense of poor fishermen

Again I smell gas flares

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ask former president Gowon

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In war, or desperate situations, man could make erroneous decisions that could back fire later. Bakkasi issue is one of them. The land was traded off for support from Cameroonians, so it was a decision made during desperation. No one should be blamed for that.

My concern is that the resident should be properly relocated so that life can continue well. they will sure lose their lands and some jobs because some professions are dependent on that land but i believe they can still be relocated and re established.

if there was no war, in the first place, there would be no need to trade out the land for help. So if we want to apportion blame, we will go farther back into history than just Gowon giving the land out.

This is not the time for blames, it is time to rescue what is left to be salvaged.

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Any person who contributed to the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroun, will rest with Satan in Hell. Leaders of Western and Northern Nigerians sold Bakassi to Cameroun so that they can win Biafra war. As the Children of Bakassi shed tears today, so will their children and their dirty stinking soldiers stationed in N-Delta will soon shed tears.

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