Against an allegation that Nigeria was still accessing hydrocarbon from the oil rich Bakkassi Penunsula despite the judgement of the International Court of Justice, ICJ that ceded region to the Republic of Cameroon, President Mohammadu on Wednesday in Abuja told the country’s president, Mr. Paul Biya and his people to put their mind at rest.
Answering questions at a joint press briefing which followed the signing of a bilateral agreement and security, amongst others, between Nigeria and Cameroon, the president stated that a committed had been set up with members from both countries to deliberate on the matter.
He remarked that while the report of the committee was being awaited, the country needed not to worry as Nigeria would not go contrary to the decision of the ICJ.
He said: “On this issue, I will like the government and people of Cameroun to keep their minds at peace. Nigeria, we are an internationally respectful and abiding nation. Somehow there was a crisis between the two nations on Bakassi Penisula over the hydrocarbon exploitation. This issue is being dealt with by the International Court of Justice.
“The technical part of the extent of international interest forms the second part of your question. On maritime resources, there is a committee of experts comprising Cameroun and Nigeria sides. I cannot fully answer that question until after the results of this committee report gets to us and when they submit the report, I expect that with a few of us that are still around, we shall sit together and see what is the best way for the two countries. So, feel secured and be at peace.”
Also reacting to a question of why Cameroon allegedly harboured suspected terrorists who ran to the country for safety, visiting president Pual Biya said that the allegation was unfounded.
He maintained that Cameroon was committed to ending insurgency in lake Chad basin.
“Yes I have had of this information. I heard it in New York during conferences that Cameroun serves as basis for Boko Haram but what can Cameroun benefit from that? Is it the ideologies? Are we going to benefit from finances? No. It was just bad press. Cameroon remains focused and committed to the fight against Boko Haram”, he said.
Meanwhile, president Buhari at a dinner and cultural night organized in honour of the visiting President of Cameroon and his wife, Chantal Biya at the Presidential Villa,on Tuesday night appreciated the government for giving protection to over 56,000 Internally Displaced Persons from Nigeria since July 2014.
The president at the dinner that attracted the Senate President Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Chief Justice of the Federation, Mahmud Muktar and top private sector and government functionaries from Cameroon also thanked the United Nations, UN and other international donor agencies for their various assistances to IDPs across the country just as he condoled with the families of Boko Haram victims along the Nigeria/Cameroon border.
He said: “Our special condolences go to families of our fallen heroes who had sacrificed their lives to safe guard our territorial integrity and provide security of lives and property of our people
“Permit me to use this occasion of your Excellency’s visit to Nigeria to once again extend my personal gratitude and that of the Federal Government for your country’s hosting of over 65,000 Nigerian refugees since July 2014.
“We also appreciate the assistance of the United Nations System, International donors, local and international non-governmental organisations and the ordinary Cameroonian families who share their meager provisions with the refugees in the spirit of African brotherhood. We thank them all”.