UN regrets killing of 97 Nigerians in Bakassi, commends Osinbajo

Mohamed Ibn Chambas
Mohamed Ibn Chambas

The UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, UNOWAS, has commended Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for his handling of the recent conflict in Bakassi Peninsula, which affected Nigerian fishermen.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and Head of UNOWAS, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, spoke with the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria in New York.

Mr. Chambas regretted the maltreatment and killings of about 97 Nigerians in the Peninsula by Cameroonian Gendarmes over failure to pay a N100,000 boat levy.

“But let me commend the initiative of the Acting President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who has already directed that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) should find out what numbers have come across the border to Nigeria.

“He also asked the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) at the Cross River State level to look into what numbers are being displaced from Nigeria as a result of this.

“Do they need help? If they do, that authority should also ascertain the numbers involved and provide the necessary support these newly displaced persons may need.

“So, I think adequate response has been undertaken by the Nigerian side to cater for any Nigerians who might have come back into the country from Bakassi.

“We commend that effort on the part of the Nigerian authorities,” the UN envoy said.

According to him, the conflict is of extreme interest to UNOWAS, especially with its involvement of the Joint Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, CNMC.

“As I speak to you now, a team from my office has left Abuja where they have been consulting with officials particularly, the Ministry of Justice, Attorney-General’s office.

“They have continued to Cameroon, they were in Yaoundé last week, so we would look into this and other concerns.

“For now, the information we have is that the issue had to do with an imposition of a new fishing tax in communities

“And this may have generated some friction between the different fishermen, including Nigerian fishermen and tax officials.

“So just to say that this really was not related directly to the border demarcation issues but have more to do with a new tax that has been imposed by the Cameroonian authority.”

Mr. Chambas described the relations between Nigeria and Cameroon as cordial, particularly in the fight against Boko Haram and appealed that the trend be sustained.

“The relations between the two countries remain very good and we commend that and also we encourage their continuing collaboration on a bigger-ticket item – the fighting Boko Haram.

“We urge them to maintain this solidarity that they have with each other and to scale up the fight against Boko Haram, which is wounded but not dead yet,” he said.

Mr. Chambas had briefed the UN Security Council on Friday, noting that five field workers of the CNMC were killed in January in attack by unidentified armed elements near Kuncha, a region believed to be unaffected by the Boko Haram threat.

“While investigation into the matter is ongoing, the UN is working closely with the authorities of Cameroon and Nigeria to strengthen the security protocol for the resumption of border pillar construction in the area.”

Reports on the recent conflict stated that the attackers sacked mainly Nigerians from Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Ondo States, believed to be a violation of the 2005 Green Tree Agreement (GTA) by CNMC.

The GTA stipulated that the Bakassi returnees must be properly resettled to their natural habitat to have a meaningful living while Nigerians who choose to remain in Cameroon could do so without any molestation.

(NAN)


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  • AFRICANER

    It’s time to take it to these savages from Cameroon!

    Enough is enough!

    Everybody is killing Nigerians, with impunity.

    This Osinbajo must be a communist. Every time he opens his mouth, he is giving away something, or proposing some small ball, low energy bull. No vision. No fight. Instead of warning these people, he is there talking nonsense.

  • udemeobong

    Shame on Nigeria! Even in a small neighbouring country, our citizens are firstly subjected to inhumane treatment, extortion, torture and finally execution and yet our leaders are wearing expensive dresses running around talking and protecting themselves and immediate families. We all know the implication of secceeding the Bakasi Penisula to Cameroon and how French and English people in Africa hardly accept each other (take a trip to Ghana and you will know what I am talking about when you enter Cotonou and Togo enrout Ghana).

    Immediately Nigeria presented this in my eys as the new trouble for Nigeria to Cameroon, they should have as matter of urgency and natioanl security, care for its citizenry now put under insecurity, errected at least few security posts along the border line to check what we now experiencing.

    For me, it shows the level our leaders think in advance and react to or handle matters of natiional importance. It is not money we are lacking in this country, but people who think and act smartly for NIGERIA!!! Osinbanjo is trying, but good governance lies solely on those that works under a leader. Then one person cannot be at all pleace at the same time. That is the reason why we have ministers, secretary, army chiefs, police inspectors, soldiers, police men, navy men. By the way, where are ou navy that suppose to patrol these water areas???

    I can write without ceasing, but the truth is: We have have failed our dear country, but we can still rebuild it since the capacities are there in all departments. We only need to be sincere to ourselve and by so doing, we are automatically sincere to our country. Nationalism, Patriotism are two things every citizen no matter who you are muss have and live out. That is what mostly lack in us!!!

  • Frank Bassey

    The regret is unnecessary. Bakassi people are inconsequential citizens of Nigeria. Their land was curtly ceded to Cameroon by OBJ without qualms; no regard for the people’s ancestral homeland, no concern over their welfare. If it was in the North East, a commission will be established, budget allocated provided (from crude oil sale from our soil), support solicited from international communities, APC mouthpiece – Channels TV, field it endlessly in its news bulletin and regular newstrack.