Bakassi Dispute: Cameroon, Nigeria Remain Friends, Says Biya

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The Cameroonian President, Paul Biya, has said that both Nigeria and his country can never fight, describing the people of the two countries as brothers.

Biya said the Bakassi Peninsula boundary dispute was a misunderstanding and not a fight between the two African countries.

The president said this on Friday while paying a condolence visit to the family of the former judge of the International Court, the late Bola Ajibola.

Ajibola was one of the 17 judges who presided over the matter at the International Court. He also led the delegation of Nigeria to the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission set up by the United Nations to look into the matter before it was completely ceded to Cameroon.

Bakassi is a peninsula on the Gulf of Guinea, lying between the city of Calabar in Cross River State and the Rio del Ray estuary in Cameron.

The delegation sent by Biya was led by Chief Justice, Mokwe Milesime, and an official of the Cameroon Boundary Dispute Commission, Richard Penda Keba. They were accompanied by a pioneering member of the Mixed Commission, Mrs Nella Rabana (SAN), and the Director General, Nigeria Boundary Dispute Commission, Adamu Adaji, among others, and arrived in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Friday.

While delivering Biya’s message, the delegation’s head said Cameroon was touched over the passing of Ajibola.

He said that conflict resolution in the Bakassi Peninsula has done more good than bad, adding that the gesture cements the relationship between the two counties.

He said, “Ajibola played a very fundamental role, and that fundamental role still remains very much with us in Cameroon.

“Cameroon will miss him as the founding father of mixed Commission. When somebody is a pillar of the foundation, we would miss him because we need that spirit.

“Cameroon and Nigeria have never had a problem at all. It was just a misunderstanding, so Cameroon and Nigeria are two countries that have lived in peace for a very long time.

“Cameroon and Nigeria have always been living in peace and when the matter (Bakassi Peninsula dispute) came up we still live in peace.

“We are one in flesh and blood. When we are happy we are together, when we are in sorrow, we are together. So, the message is of oneness, and message of togetherness for the growth of the two countries.”

Ajibola’s family members were joined to receive the delegation by the former deputy governor of Ogun state, Salmot Badru.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Akin Ajibola lauded the president and his delegation for the visit.

Source Punch