Teddy Oscar, Abuja
The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to forestall any form of border crisis that may arise between Nigeria and Cameroon by acting through the National Boundary Commission (NBC) to demarcate the boundary between the two African countries.
As a result, the House Committee on Special Duties has been mandated to oversee the Nigeria-Cameroon boundary, and ensure that decisions made by the commission do not jeopardise Nigeria’s national interest.
These were sequel to a motion entitled: ongoing exercise to demarcate the border between Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon.
According to Hon. Robinson Uwak, who moved the motion on Thursday, Nigeria could lose as many as 76 oil wells to her francophone neighbours, Cameroon, following the ongoing boundary adjustment between the West African nations.
Uwak’s fear re-echoed that of the Senate leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, who first raised the alarm on the floor of the Red Chambers, claiming that the ongoing boundary adjustment between the two nations could force Nigeria cede no fewer than eight local government areas to the francophone nation.
He specifically pointed out the economic importance of the area to Nigeria as it hosts more than 76 oil wells, apart from being the home of the popular Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort in Cross-River State.
Speaking on the floor of the House, Uwak noted that the demarcation exercise by the surveyors from the United Nations (UN) and the Nigeria/Cameroon Boundary Commission have created new boundary lines from Pillar 110 to 113, after a failure to identify Pillar 113A – a boundary pillar.
He expressed worries that the surveyors did not bother to visit the archives to obtain the 1913 Anglo-German Treaty in order to ascertain the exact location of the boundary pillars.
Uwak also recalled a resolution of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government of the defunct Organisation of African Unity (OAU) held in Cairo, Egypt in July 1964, where African nations, including the Republic of Cameroon pledged to respect the borders of other African states, after the attainment of independence.
He urged the government, through NBC, to demarcate the border between the two countries and ensure that no errors are made in that regard.
Through a popular voice vote, the motion was adopted and the speaker, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, passed a resolution urging NBC to demarcate the border between the two countries.
Nigeria must be proactive and insist that not an inch of our territory will be ceded to Cameroon again, never. The surveyors must do everything necessary to identify the missing Pillar 113A. Absent that the status quo needs to be maintained. Nigeria and Cameroon know where they own, and they have respected the boundary for ages until recently.