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House of Reps Committee Warns Nigeria May Lose Additional Territory to Cameroon

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ABUJA, Nigeria — The House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the international boundary dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon issued an urgent call on Thursday, July 13, 2023, for prompt action to prevent the loss of additional territories in Cross River State to Cameroon, mirroring the regrettable loss of Bakassi Peninsula years earlier.

Between 7,000 to 10,000 hectares of land encompassing the Danare and Biajua communities in the Boki area of Cross River state risk being ceded to Cameroon, according to a motion raised by eight Cross River state lawmakers last week.

Hon. Beni Lar (PDP, Plateau), Chair of the ad hoc committee, expressed deep concerns about the potential loss of a significant landmass and Nigerian citizens residing within it to Cameroon. She highlighted the urgent need to clarify the precise border stretch between the two countries.

“A swift resolution is imperative to prevent history from repeating itself and to protect the rights and interests of Nigerians living in the affected areas,” Lar said at a media briefing.

The Chair urged all stakeholders to unite swiftly in resolving the dispute to avoid further losses to the Republic of Cameroon.

She noted the committee’s recognition of the situation’s gravity and the significant implications it holds for Nigeria’s territorial integrity and the welfare of its citizens.

She extended her appreciation and commendation to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), National Boundaries Commission, Office of the Surveyor General, Office of the Attorney General, the Nigerian Armed Forces, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the governor of Cross River state, among others, for their relentless efforts in the border dispute.

“The ad-hoc committee on the Nigeria-Cameroon Border Dispute is urging all relevant stakeholders, both national and international, to lend their support and facilitate the amicable resolution process,” Lar stated, further highlighting the importance of dialogue, negotiation, and cooperation in reaching a fair resolution.

The Committee’s mission is to assess the potential land encroachment by the Cameroonian Government following a motion brought by eight lawmakers from Cross River state led by Hon Victor Abang.

The goal is to understand the security implications of the dispute and the technical aspects involved in resolving it.

In her conclusion, Lar expressed confidence that “with the collective efforts of all parties involved and with a very good sensitisation collaboration of the media, a lasting solution can be reached, which is securing Nigeria’s land and the well-being of its citizens.”

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