The final field assessment of monuments and other landmarks for the demarcation of Bakassi based on the judgment of the International Court of Justice and the Green Tree Agreement has been dogged by uncertainty.
Vanguard gathered from competent sources that the planned demarcation, which was to commence last Friday and continue till November 11, 2012, did not take place because of the non-arrival of members of the Joint Technical Team, JTT.
The team, which is made up of experts from the United Nations, Cameroun and Nigeria, was expected to arrive Calabar, the Cross River State capital, last Thursday with a view to getting to work the following day but the members did not show up after all.
A Government House source in Calabar, confirmed to Vanguard last night that as at the close of work on Friday, there was no indication that any member of the JTT of the Nigeria-Cameroun Mix Commission had arrived the state in connection with the international assignment.
The source explained: “We were expecting the convoy of the JTT in Calabar on Thursday October 18, 2012. Surprisingly, none of the team members has arrived the state as I am speaking with you.”
But another source close to the state administration confirmed to Vanguard that the planned demarcation had been rescheduled to begin in the first week of next month but no reason was advanced for the change in date.
However, it was gathered that the team was worried that the exercise might not be carried out successfully without some violence from the aggrieved natives of Bakassi, who feel betrayed by the Federal Government’s refusal to seek a review of the Bakassi judgment.
Natives demand N200bn damages
There have, however, been both legal and political moves by the aggrieved natives of Bakassi to stop the final delineation of the boundary until their quest for self determination is addressed by the Nigerian government.
Last Friday, they filed a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja, praying it to stop the planned demarcation of their ancestral homes and monuments pending the hearing and determination of the case, which is yet to be assigned to a judge.
The natives demanded N200 billion as general damages from the Federal Government over the Bakassi issue.
Natives, six A-Ibom LGAs to form Atlantic State
Meanwhile, Vanguard reliably gathered last night that as a direct fallout of the poor handling of the Bakassi issue by the Federal Government, natives of the area in Cross River State and their kinsmen in Akwa Ibom State, have begun assembling signatories for the actualization of Atlantic State.
The meeting of the proposed Atlantic State movement was convened in Calabar, yesterday, during, which many prominent politicians and opinion leaders gave their blessing to the idea by appending their signatures to the paper.
Principally, the proposed state seeks to incorporate ‘Greater Calabar Communities’ of the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State and the six major riverine local government areas of Oron, Udung Uko, Okobo, Mbo, Urueofong/Oruko and Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State into one umbrella.
The meeting, which began at 7pm in the residence of a major political leader in Cross River State, Chief John Bassey, was attended by lawmakers, council chairmen and councillors from the areas.
It was convened by High Chief Archie Omon, another prominent politician from Cross River State.
A House of Representatives member from Cross River State, who was invited to the meeting, said the recent Supreme Court ruling ceding 76 oil wells from the state to its neighbour, was one of the reasons that triggered the new search for identity by the people of the area.