Paramount leader of Bakassi, Etinyin Etim Okon Edet, has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan demanding that Bakassi should be freed from all contracts and obligations with Nigeria since the latter had failed in its primary constitutional role to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria or uphold the oath of office to protect the people of his kingdom who are being forced into perpetual slavery in Cameroon.
The paramount ruler, who is also Chairman of Cross River State Council of Chiefs, said the declaration by the Federal Government that it would not approach the International Court of Justice to revisit its judgment of October 10, 2002, was an indication that the government does not need the people of Bakassi as component part of the Nigerian Federation and the only option left for the National Assembly was to delist Bakassi as a component unit of Nigeria to enable the people pursue their fate in the new “country” that they are being forced into.
Dr. Edet, who spoke exclusively to Vanguard in Lagos, said: “The people of Bakassi are being held in bondage by Nigeria, which has divested its interest to listen to the wishes of Bakassi people and to force them into a situation of perpetual refugee status in their own country or to remain in Cameroon as migrants who could be tortured, killed or deported by the Cameroonian authorities that have been pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing since 2008.
He said: “With 19 days to the end of the window given to the Federal Government to appeal for a revision of the International Court of Justice verdict of October 10, 2002, the Federal Government is telling the world that it cannot go back on our appeals to approach the International Court of Justice because according to the FG, ‘Nigeria will be exposing itself to international ridicule to renege on conceding Bakassi to Cameroon for supporting the effort to keep Nigeria one.’”
He said “even when we have fresh evidences to show the world and the International that the World Court to prove that ceding Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon based on the Anglo-German treaty of 1913 and the 1971 Yaoundé 1, 11declarations in 1971 and the Maroua declaration of 1975 was erroneous, the government we had all along believe would protect our territory integrity is telling us to forget our land and our heritage.”
According to Dr. Edet, Bakassi endorse the protest organised by SERAP calling on the Federal Government to grant Bakassi people the right to determine their own fate, we want to leave but the law continued to hinder us because the law pretends that we are Nigerians but we cannot be Nigerians with having a foot hold on our land or concede our land to Cameroon. We have said it clearly that before Nigeria and Cameroon, there was Bakassi, we don’t need Nigeria to define and determine our existence, but one point is clear, today it may be Bakassi to day and Otueke tomorrow, if we are used as sacrificial lamb today, it may be another group tomorrow”