President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday stated Nigeria would abide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment on Bakassi Peninsula.
Speaking at a joint press briefing with President Paul Biya of Cameroon who is on two day state visit to Nigeria, Buhari said the issue of hydrocarbons in the Bakassi region was brought to the attention of the ICJ.
It will be recalled that on October 10, 2002, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) sitting at The Hague entered a judgment in the case of the Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria.
The ICJ Judgment definitively delimited the frontier between Cameroon and Nigeria from Lake Chad to the sea.
In the Bakassi section, the Court decided that the boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria in Bakassi is delimited in accordance with the Anglo-German Agreement of March 11, 1913 and that the sovereignty over the peninsula lay with Cameroon.
President Buhari said Nigeria had accepted the judgment, but the technical aspect of the international waters had yet to be fully determined.
He said ”On this Bakassi Peninsula issue, I will like the government and people of Cameroun to keep their minds at peace, Nigeria we are internationally respectful and abiding nation, somehow there was a crisis between the two nations on Bakassi Peninsula over the hydro carbon exploitation, this issue has been dealt with by the International Court of Justice.
“There is a technical committee of experts, comprising Cameroun and Nigeria sides, until 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.”
Buhari, however, said his administration was alive to its responsibilities and would remain focused in the fight against terror in the region and the continent.
On his part, Biya debunked allegation that his country was reluctant in joining forces with the Lake Chad Basin countries to fight Boko Haram describing it as an effort to malign his country.
He said, “I heard of this information before, I heard it in New York during conference, that Cameroon serves as base for Boko Haram, but what can Cameroon benefit from that?”
“Is it the ideology? Are we going to benefit from finances? No it was just a bad press. Cameroon remains focused and committed to the fight against Boko Haram.