Border Dispute: Reps order suspension of demarcation exercise on Adamawa territory

Gaddafi IbrahimSeptember 12, 20235 min

Director General of the National Boundary Commission said the demarcation exercise was being carried out in line with a ruling of the International Court of Justice.

 

 

The House of Representatives has ordered the immediate suspension of the demarcation exercise to cede Sina Area in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State to the Republic of Cameroun.

The directive was issued by the House Adhoc Committee on International Boundary Dispute during a hearing on the series of lingering boundary hotspots across the Nigeria-Cameroon boundaries, which stretches from up the Lake Chad region down to Cross River estuaries.

As part of the committee’s rules of engagement, it also assessed the role of the military, para-military, and security agencies in terms of safeguarding the borders and territorial integrity of the country.

Chairperson of the Committee, Rep. Beni Lar, said there was a need to halt the demarcation as engagements with affected communities, as well as the Nigeria Boundary Commission, are ongoing, with the aim of finding a lasting solution to the lingering dispute.

 

READ ALSO: Boundary Dispute: Reps seek swift action to prevent Nigeria from losing territory

 

 

“We have to continue this engagement with the relevant community and the boundary commission and come up with a solution. Let us go on a fact-finding mission, and then, we will intervene. The communities have a right, and their right must be considered.

 This demarcation exercise has to be put on hold until the disputes are resolved. It should be halted pending the resolution of this committee. We would visit Adamawa and come up with a comprehensive report. We will recall that we did the first phase of this similar for the DANARE-BIAJUA AXIS of Cross River State, and as a fallout of that, the Rt. Hon Speaker, through a request by Hon. Dauda Nyampa, included this SINA AREA to the Committee’s terms of reference.

As usual, we are to interact on the aspects of the likely ceding of SINA to Cameroon. Thereafter, we are embarking on an ‘on-the-spot fact-finding visit’ to Adamawa, of which we have notified the Executive Governor.”

According to Lar, “The second aspect of this interactive briefing, which is very critical, is on the role of the military, the para-military and the security agencies towards safeguarding the borders & territorial integrity of Nigeria.

“His briefing is to leverage inputs from the guarantors of our National Security – Army and the various Security Agencies because, in the committee’s last visit to Cross River State, we discovered the lack of Security posts or barracks of any sort along our land borders whereas such is obtained across the Cameroon side of borders, hence, the necessity of this interactive session with our Security formations,” she said.

 

READ ALSO: Bakassi: “Respect 1913 Anglo-German Agreement” – Reps urge Cameroon-Nigeria Commission

 

The National Boundary Commission Director General, Adamu Adaji, however, said the demarcation exercise was being carried out in line with a ruling of the International Court of Justice.

Adaji informed that so far, the sub-commission on demarcation has put in place a total of 2, 214 pillars along the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon.

“The Adamawa State sector of the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon as decided by the International Court of Justice is based on treaties and agreements that had been entered into by colonial masters. The courts upheld these treaties and agreements and ruled that they be used to re-establish the boundary.

“It is not a new boundary. It is a boundary that has been existing and there are documents that show the fact these boundaries have been existing. What the court ruled is that go and use this document to re-establish the boundary as it has always been recognised.”

 

READ ALSO: Ajibulu: “Nigeria’s potentials for greatness still potent, citizens must show patriotism”

 

The representative of Sina Area, Adamu Kamale, said the disputed area was a Nigerian territory and was never a settlement.

“From Lake Chad to Bakassi, the ICJ ruled on several communities based on different criteria. The criteria used for Bakassi are not the same used for Michika local government. In our own case, the ruling stated clearly that it is the watershed. And, if the watershed is to be used, it means any territory that is on the flank to the left as you are coming from Lake Chad falls into Cameroon, and any community to the right falls to Nigeria because both countries had an agreement in the ruling.

“Cameroon’s position then was that the foot of the mountain was to be adopted as the border line. Nigeria averred that it must be the watershed and in that case, Nigeria won. The court made a pronouncement on Nigerian submission that it is the watershed that should be used,” he explained.

Gaddafi Ibrahim

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