13 July 2017

Nigeria: Reps to Investigate Alleged Killing of 97 Nigerians By Cameroon's Gendarmes

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, resolved to investigate alleged killing of 97 Nigerians in the ceded Bakassi Peninsula by Cameroonian gendarmes.

The resolution was sequel to a motion under "Matters of Urgent National Importance" by Rep. Babatunde Kolawole (Ondo-APC) on the need to investigate the report.

Moving the motion, Kolawole said, "last week, there were several media reports that 97 Nigerians have been killed in Bakassi by Cameroonian gendarmes.

"This is because they could not afford N100, 000 levied on each fishing boat. This is in spite of the clauses in the Green Tree Agreement signed between Nigerian and Cameroonian Governments which protect our citizens in the ceded areas from harm.

"Apart from these recent attacks, there had been reports of harassments, rape and killings of Nigerians by the gendarmes over the years with the Nigerian government seemingly doing little or nothing to stop it.

"If nothing is done to stop this ugly development, other Nigerian lives would be at risk as the gendarmes may continue to kill Nigerians at will without fear of recriminations."

Kolawole said that though there were reports that the Federal Government had summoned the Cameroonian Ambassador over the killings, there was a need for the House, as the people's parliament, to send a clear signal.

"We will not sit and watch while the lives of our citizens are wasted with impunity."

Members spoke in favour of the motion, with some decrying the gendarmes' perceived use of excessive force against Nigerian citizens in the ceded region.

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.

The motion was therefore referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for investigation.

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