Cross River denies annexation of Nigerian community by Cameroon

Governor Liyel Imoke

Danare Community in Cross River State petitioned the state government over fear of illegal annexation of the community.

The Cross River Government said on Wednesday that none of its villages were illegally annexed by Cameroon on the orders of the Nigeria-Cameroon boundary demarcation officials.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Liyel Imoke, Christian Ita, told journalists in Calabar that the speculation was untrue.

He, however, said that a pillar on the boundary between the two countries had been reported missing in Danare community of the state.

“Yes, one pillar is missing, but there is just nothing to the story. They are still searching for it. When you are doing demarcation it is not as if you have one straight line you just go.

“They (officials) are still looking for the pillar and even the National Boundary Commission officials are there. This is just unnecessary sensationalism. The petition from the Danare community did not say they have been ceded.

“The petition was that if the stone is not seen. Cameroon may likely encroach. Nothing has been ceded and Cross River State has not lost any community in the central or northern senatorial district to Cameroon.

“The Nigeria-Cameroon Joint Commission and the United Nations are there and boundary matter is no small issue. It is very clear; the state has not lost a single community to Cameroon,” Mr. Ita said.

Danare, a Nigerian community on the border between Cameroon and Cross River, had petitioned the state government to ensure that parts of it were not annexed illegally to Cameroon.

They also alleged that new boundaries were being created by some of the surveyors charged with the responsibility of providing correct boundaries in communities bordering Nigeria and Cameroon.

According to the petition, the surveyors are acting on prompting by Cameroon authorities.

“It will be recalled that the Nigeria-Cameroon Joint Commission, in conjunction with the United Nations, are retracing the boundary sequel to the judgment of the International Court of Justice at The Hague over the Bakassi Peninsula dispute.

“The surveyors that are saddled with the responsibility of retracing the pillars depicting the boundary started the job in that axis of the boundary from pillar 110 to pillar 113, some metres away from the primary school, Danare 1 in Boki Local Government Area.

“Efforts at retracing pillar 113A, about 9.6 km from pillar 113, by the surveyors had proved abortive.

“Consequently, upon their inability to retrace pillar 113 `A’, the Danare community asked the surveyors to stop creating new boundaries and visit the archives to garner information or request the appropriate authority to oblige them with well defined maps that will enable them to navigate the seeming confusing situation they are confronted with,” the petition said.

According to the community, the surveyors are in a hurry to deliver the job, irrespective of the consequences that may arise.

The community stated that in the history of the border between Nigeria and Cameroon, Danare 1 community was a Nigerian community.

The petition was endorsed by Clement Abang, the Community Leader; Kekong Abang, Village Head; Lawcity Mbia, Youth Leader; and three others on behalf of the Danare community.

Cletus Obun, a former lawmaker representing Boki 1 constituency in the Cross River House of Assembly, also confirmed the report.

He said that the surveyors were prevailed upon to stop work and had complied more than a week ago.

(NAN)


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