Leadership (Abuja)

13 December 2012

Nigeria: FG Committed to Protecting Nigerians in Bakassi Peninsula, Says Minister

Photo: Thisday
Bakassi protesters.

The Federal Government on Tuesday restated its commitment to the protection of the rights of Nigerians living in the Bakassi Peninsula.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke, made the statement in Abuja at the 30th session of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC).

He said: "the Federal Government will continue to do everything possible to protect the rights of Nigerians living in the Bakassi Peninsula.

"The government will also ensure that it assists in the resettlement of those who have indicated willingness to return to Nigeria," he said.

Adoke, who is also justice minister and leader of the Nigerian delegation on the CNMC, said that the government was concerned about reported cases of maltreatment of citizens in the peninsula.

He noted that the most significant achievement of the CNMC remained the prevalence of peace in both countries.

Adoke said that the peace and cordial relations existing between the two countries had led to the attainment of the transfer of sovereignty of the villages affected by the judgment at International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Lake Chad Area in 2003.

The minister urged the two countries to continue to give their best, "especially now that the work of the commission is near completion."

"I wish to commend the Government of Cameroon and the UN team for its unrelenting efforts toward the provision of social amenities in the affected areas of the Bakassi Zone."

Adoke also urged the Cameroonian Government to urgently investigate and address the Greentree Agreement and other international human rights instruments, which both countries are signatorie to.

"This is important as it will provide an enabling political environment for the activities of the CNMC and the Follow-Up Committee.

"It will also strengthen the government in its resolve to faithfully implement the ICJ judgment," he said.

Adoke commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the Cameroonian President, Paul Biya, for their commitment to peace between the countries.

Also speaking, Dr Muhammad Ahmad, the Director-General, National Boundary Commission, said that the meeting would bring a significant achievement in the mandates of the Mixed Commission.

"This gathering will boost the efforts we are making to enhance the mixed commission and to bring a greater change and stronger relations between the two countries," Ahmad said.

He appreciated the Federal Government, the UN Team and the Cameroonian government for their dedications and efforts toward the success of the commission.

NAN

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