Nigeria did not appeal the ruling of the International Court of Justice, which awarded the oil-rich territory of Bakassi to Cameroon in a 2002, so as to protect Nigerians living in that country.
This was disclosed by President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday during interactive session with the Nigerian community in Yaounde, Cameroon, while on a visit for the summit of Heads of States and Governments of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), which has a focus, the maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Bakassi had been legally ceded to Cameroon in 2002 and Nigerians living there had been given August 2012 to either nationalise as Cameroonians or leave the territory which had been heavily guarded by Cameroonian soldiers since taking control of the territory from August 14, 2008.
Respnding to questions raised by some Nigerians at the parley, the President , said that at a time there was tension between Nigeria and the Cameroon and people reacted adding that when two countries are friends, the people also become friends but when they disagree their citizens also disagree.
"You all know what happened in Bakassi, there is no need to go back on why we couldn't appeal. We had no new evidence within the period of time that was given that will make a difference in the judgement.
"Our people should live a good and decent life in Cameroon. The forces of animosity are gradually dying down and the relationship is improving".
The President also the Nigerians that his administration was totally committed to their welfare, adding that their concerns bothering on high cost of residence permits, high cost of tuition fees for students among others would be tabled before his host, President Paul Biya to find amicable solution to them.
He particularly commended the good reports on Nigerians in the French-speaking country, and assured that concerns raised bothering on security, power, infrastructural deficits back home in Nigeria are all being addressed, noting that in two years though short, his administration has made significant impacts in key sectors.
The President also urged Nigerians in diaspora to ignore negative reports which tend to exaggerate the problems back home, but take time out to look at the parameters, GDP growth, foreign direct investments, all which indicates that "the economy is strong" adding that investors do not take money to countries where nothing is happening.
He also disclosed that out of every $10 that comes to the continent, $4 comes into Nigeria.
The President admitted that the country has health challenges, but said "I can assure you we are on course, I will make you happy. We will exploit the opportunity".
He also said he was particularly uncomfortable that Nigeria was among the four countries in the world with cases of polio before 2015.
"I'm uncomfortable with the figure, why should Nigeria be among the four countries in the world with polio? We are committed to eradicating polio and we will eradicate it".
On insecurity in the country, he admitted that it was challenging but praised the Nigerian security operatives for living up to expectations. Speaking on the state of emergency declared in the three northern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, he said going by the successes of the Joint Task Force (JTF) it may not take the six months constitutionally backed to bring the insurgents under control and lift the state of emergency.
Nigeria High Commissioner to Cameroon, Hadiza Mustapha, in her opening remarks said the Nigerian community "is the best community any ambassador could ask for. They are hardworking, patrotic, law-abiding and have good working relations with the Mission".
She said the good working relationship existing between Nigeria and Cameroon has brought about reduction in harassment of citizens living in the host country.
Representative from the Bakassi Peninsular, Chief Etim Effiong, commended President Jonathan for not abandoning those of them that choose to remain in the Cameroon as Nigerians.
He said they couldn't bear to abandon the land that belonged to their fore-fathers for years and expressed happiness that the Nigerian government was working with the Cameroonian government to make them safe and at home in their community.