Cross River boils over UN’s plan to cede more Nigerian communities to Cameroon

Posted by News Express | 6 June 2014 | 4,614 times

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The ongoing demarcation of boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon by the United Nations, UN, that could cede about eight local governments to Cameroon, is generating serious tension in the border areas of Cross River State as the youths in communities of Boki Local Government Area are poised for a showdown with some Nigerian soldiers, who are guiding the UN team on ground for the exercise.

The restive youths claimed that there was an attempt by the UN team to cede about eight local government areas, including the Presidential Lodge in Obudu Cattle Ranch to Cameroon.

Meanwhile, the Senate President, David Mark, has sounded a note of warning to authorities that the country would not allow any part of its territory to be ceded to another country.

Standing on Order 42 of the Senate’s Standing Rules, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, said: “There is a demarcation exercise going on in my constituency and it is causing a lot of anxiety among my constituents.

“They fear that at the end of the exercise, we will be losing a number of communities to Cameroon. So, with your kind permission, I will like to bring a formal a motion on this on our next legislative day (which is June 24).”

The Senate President, in reaction, said: “This country must never, never under any circumstance surrender one millimeter of our land to any country irrespective of who is supervising it whether it is the UN or AU (African Union).”

Giving an insight into the motion, Senate Ndoma Egba who represents Cross River Central Senatorial District said: “The reason why I deferred it (the motion) to the next legislative day is to enable me get details, otherwise I would have taken the motion today.

“But I have information that right now pursuant to the Green Tree Agreement, some boundary adjustment exercise is going on and the UN demarcation team is right now in a place called Danari.”

Speaking to Vanguard on phone, a community leader and former member of Cross River State House of Assembly from Boki, Cletus Obun, vowed that the community was ready to die in the process of defending her territory.

Obun, who is a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, said: “We are saying that the communities have resisted the demarcation exercise for the second time until pillar 113A is found.

“Any demarcation done without pillar 113A will take half of Nigerian territory in eight local government areas in Cross River into Cameroon and we are not going to accept a second ceding in 60 years. We are not going to accept that.

“The National Assembly has said that it had not ratified the Green Tree Agreement, so why is Nigeria in a hurry to cede part of its territory?

“After the resistance of Nigerian citizens within the Cameroon border of Danari and Biajua in Boki in February this year, the team returned with Nigerian soldiers to force their way to continue with that exercise and the community is resisting the continuous demarcation or redefining of that map because it is based on a faulty map; a treaty that had been voided since 1918.

“The community saw the soldiers and saw the same team led by Mr. Isaac Baya of Zimbabwe. He is the leader of that the UN technical team.

“He was found there and the communities requested to know if they had located the pillar 113A without which a demarcation of the land will be not be possible without ceding part of the Cross River State to Cameroon.

“They could not produce that map and they could not show that they have found Pillar 113A. So Biajua and Danari have resisted them for the second time.

“The soldiers attempted to force their way and they tried to remove their name tags so that their identities would not be seen. When calls started coming, they decided to put back their identities to show that they are Nigerian soldiers.

“If pillar 113A is not found and an imaginary line drawn from 113 to 114, half of eight local government areas, beginning from the Obudu Cattle Ranch, where the Presidential Lodge is, down to Boki, up to Ikang in Akpabuyo Local Government Area will all be in Cameroon.

“Pillar 113A is on their map, why are they finding it difficult to locate it.”

Some other local government areas he claimed that would be ceded to Cameroon if the demarcation worked out include Obanliku, Boki, Etung, adding “if it takes place, it is only Bendeghe ward that will remain in Nigeria. The other nine wards in Etung will be ceded to Cameroon.”

He further said that part of Ikom Local Government Area, which is the home place of Senator Ndoma Egba, to Obubra and part of Akamkpa would go to Cameroon.

•Source: Vanguard.

Source: News Express

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