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Nigeria may reverse decision on Bakassi

Last Updated: 11/23/2007 12:18:43 PM

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The Nigerian Senate has hinted that it might reverse last year decisions to hand over the disputed territory of Bakassi to neighbouring Cameroon.....

Moves have begun in the Nigerian Senate to reverse the handover of the Bakassi peninsular to Cameroon. In 2006 the Nigerian government under the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo began a process of handing over the Bakassi peninsular to Cameroon. The government had argued that it was doing so in compliance with a judgement of the International Court of Justice on the dispute.

Yesterday twenty-one members of the Nigeria Federal Senate led by Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw raised a motion in which they drew attention to the unconstitutional nature of the handover. They argued that the transfer was undertaken unilaterally by Obasanjo whereas the transfer constituted an amendment to the Nigerian constitution and thus required assent by the Federal legislature and all 36 state legislatures.

The motion called on the Federal Government to halt any further transfer on territory in the disputed areas.

The motion comes at a particularly sensitive time in Nigerian-Cameroonian relations after incidents last week saw twenty Cameroonian soldiers in the Bakassi area were killed by persons suspected to be Niger Delta militants, and a retaliatory strike by Cameroon’s military left ten Nigerians dead.

The oil rich peninsular of Bakassi lies between the southern tips of Nigeria and Cameroon and had been disputed between the countries for over thirty years.


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