News24

Nigeria president wants land back

2012-10-04 20:15

Abuja - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday ordered a review of an international ruling that handed the oil-rich Bakassi peninsula to its neighbour Cameroon a decade ago.

His decision came a week after Nigeria's Senate called on him to appeal the 2002 ruling made by the International Court of Justice that Bakassi belonged to Cameroon. The appeal period expires in a few days, the statement from the presidency said.

Nigeria finally gave up Bakassi in 2008, after years of political disputes, legal skirmishes and violence that killed dozens of people.

"The president has set up a committee to look at the option of reviewing the ruling," the statement said, adding that this had been concluded after talks with Vice President Namidi Sambo and Senate President David Mark.

Nigeria has dozens of committees, which often to do not lead to significant action.

Senators had argued that the judgment was unfairly based on an agreement between the British and local chiefs in 1881, and it should therefore be subjected to a referendum monitored by the United Nations.

The two African countries, which nearly went to war over Bakassi on several occasions, seemed to have put the issue behind them of late, and had even agreed to work together to explore for oil in the region.

Around 90% of the population of the peninsula, estimated at 200 000 to 300 000, regard themselves as Nigerian fishermen and their families who do not want to be Cameroonians.

A movement called the Bakassi Self-Determination Front in August declared independence from Cameroon, hoisting a flag and setting up an FM radio station. It is not clear how big the movement is or what it is capable of.

Comments
  • bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-10-04 20:24

    Typical - 10 years ago it was not a issue , now that its valueble they want it , almost like our brothers who walked over diamonds with their bare feet - but want to nationalize now.

  • johan.jacobs.33821 - 2012-10-04 20:27

    Youv' got crude,youv'e got trouble.

  • nkhangwe.madzivh - 2012-10-04 21:15

    For peace sake,why can't he let it go?another Africans will be killing each other soon

      lorain.maseko - 2012-10-05 07:48

      I smell war in the West, i think it's just greed if you ask me, if they really believe they are entitled to it why didnt they appeal immediately after the decision was made?

  • onyeka.maduka.5 - 2012-10-06 02:44

    Good move Mr president

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