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Bakassi: Don’t start war

Posted by By BASSEY BASSEY, Calabar on 2007/11/27 | Views: 617 |

Bakassi: Don’t start war


A traditional ruler in the disputed Bakassi Peninsula, in Cross River State, Etubom Bassey Ekpo Bassey has accused the Senate of instigating war with Cameroun.

•Monarch cautions Senate

A traditional ruler in the disputed Bakassi Peninsula, in Cross River State, Etubom Bassey Ekpo Bassey has accused the Senate of instigating war with Cameroun.

Apparently reacting to last week’s decision by the Senate to revoke the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, the monarch, whose area of traditional authority extends to a community in Bakassi (now under Camerouninan sovereignty), accused the Senate of fanning the embers of war with Nigeria’s neighbour.

In a statement circulated to the press in Calabar on Monday, Bassey said that going back on the implementation of the ICJ judgement of 2002 and last year’s Green Tree Agreement could only result in war.

“Those who are instigating war with Cameroon, either by inspiring cross-border murders, or by causing Senate to create problems, must be told that even as they position themselves to be defence contractors, our border communities will resist the dastardly consequence of their actions,” he stated.
He dismissed the Senate’s position as irresponsible and argued that such decisions by the Nigerian political leadership produced the 1967-1970 civil war, “at the end of which, two million Nigerians (mostly easterners) lay dead.”

Etubom Bassey’s statement goes back to history, to state that Nigeria and Cameroon had fought before, when British colonial authorities used the Nigerian military to seize Cameroon from the Germans, as a bargaining chip for the war in Europe.

“The Nigerian Regiment was formed in January 1914, but by August that year, found itself at war with Cameroon. Britain had mobilised, but had not planned to strike at the time (perhaps to gain time with which to form a striking partnership with the French). But Col. Carter, Commander of the Nigerian Regiment, taking advantage of the type of tension which exists now, and pleading a breakdown in communications, attacked Cameroon from Maiduguri, Yola and Ikom.”

He said that when the British expedition suffered initial defeat, the Emir of Yola fled from his Emirate and his people were “decimated.” He said that in Cameroon, the Duala people were slaughtered and their king, Manga Bell, was publicly hanged for supporting the British war effort.
Etubom Bassey warned that Nigeria has a 1,000-mile long border with Cameroon, with the same ethnic groups spread on both sides.

“Moreso, the population of Cameroon is one-quarter Nigerian. We simply cannot afford a war,” he said.
He advised the Senate to reverse itself and treat the ICJ judgment of 2002 (and not the Green Tree Agreement of 2006) as the core issue.

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