24 October 2002

West Africa: Bakassi: Lives More Important Than Oil, Gas - Senator

Abuja — "The value of lives of Nigerians in the Bakassi Peninsula and beyond far out-weighs the worth of oil and gas deposit in the area. Nigerians should therefore explore every possible means towards resolving the problem created by the International Court of Justice verdict, which ceded the disputed Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun."

Senate Chief Whip and former Chairman of the senate committee on Natural Gas, Senator Adawari Michael Pepple who said this while speaking to newsmen after the presentation of "Senator Adawari Pepple's Cup" for secondary Schools Debate on Environment in Abuja added "by 2008, there would have been full utilisation and monetisation, I believe gas will take the foremost position."

Pepple waved aside the view that the Bakassi Peninsula dispute was all about oil and gas and argued that it is "more of a question of Nigeria losing her own land and Nigerians being unjustly cut out and placed where they don't belong traditionally and politically."

Pepple reiterated, "I don't think it is a question of going to war for oil and gas. Otherwise, we would not have thought of questioning the judgement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It is more of lives of Nigerians. People who are emotionally attached to the area called Bakassi, people who were born there, who come from that place.

"It is most unfair if you have to relocate people at this time. I mean where are you relocating them. You cannot place a price tag on somebody's affinity to his homeland," Pepple decried.

He maintained that Nigerians are not complaining because of the issue of oil and gas. "Afterall some people are questioning what the country has so far done with her oil money."

Copyright © 2002 This Day. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.