Fresh facts were revealed recently that some evidences which could prove that Nigeria owns Bakassi were concealed during trial. Following these fresh facts, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Nigeria Bar Association variously urged the Federal Government to appeal the ICJ judgment.
But the Federal Government has insisted that it will not appeal the 2002 verdict of the International Court of Justice which ceded the oil-rich peninsula to Cameroon.
The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, speaking on behalf of the FG said that shortly after the ICJ verdict, the Federal Government signed an agreement with Cameroon not only to concede the Bakassi to it in accordance with the ICJ verdict but assist in resettling, as well as give protection to indigenes of the area who wish to remain in Nigeria.
“It is surprising that this issue is coming up again, this case was in the International Court of Justice for long and after years of legal arguments by both Nigeria and Cameroon, a judgment was passed in favour of Cameroon, and Nigeria, in respect to the ICJ judgment, came out and signed an agreement that it had honoured the judgment. Nigeria and Cameroon are neighbours and have a good standing relationship. The two countries have been living together and will continue to live together for ever. They have been peaceful with each other for long. It is not at this time that they should begin to have problem over issues that should have been amicably resolved. So, I think Nigeria’s position is still in conformity with the outcome of the International Court of Justice”, he said.
The minister charged people to try to harp on issues that would promote peace and harmonious co-existence instead of those that tend to cause unnecessary tension, saying what Africa needed for rapid growth and unity was peace among member countries. “Between Nigeria and Cameroon, there are several communities which members are Cameroon and which members are Nigerians; so I believe we have a duty to promote peace among ourselves, between the two countries”, he added.