A Diplomatic row seems to be brewing between Nigeria and its neighbour, Cameroun following reported killings of 97 Nigerians by Cameroon Gendarmes.
The said report on Friday had stated that no fewer than 97 Nigerians were killed as Cameroon Gendarmes allegedly attacked residents of Bakassi over failure to pay a N100,000 boat levy.
As a result, the federal government has summoned Cameroon’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Abbas Salahedine, to give explanations on the report of maltreatment and killings of Nigerians in the Bakassi Peninsula by Cameroonian Gendarmes.
A statement by the acting spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Jane Adams, noted that Nigerian government expressed dismay over the incident said to have been occasioned by alleged non-payment of taxes on fishing activities.
The statement noted: “The ministry has instructed the Nigerian Missions in Yaounde and Buea, to investigate the report with a view to confirming their veracity and inform Headquarters immediately.
“The ministry appeals to the Cameroonian authorities to exercise their duty of care and protection over the people of Bakassi, including other Nigerian citizens in the area”.
According to the report, the attackers sacked mainly Nigerians from Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Ondo States, while many others were however said to have escaped at midnight with their fishing boats and arrived at Ikang in Bakassi and Ibaka in Akwa Ibom.
The killing and sacking of Nigerians in former Bakassi is believed to be a violation of the 2005 Green Tree Agreement (GTA) by the Nigeria-Cameroon Mixed Commission.
The agreement stipulates that the Bakassi returnees must be properly resettled to their natural habitat so that they can have a meaningful living.