This Day in History: Bakassi Threatens Secession

In my opinion, the voice of the people is the voice of God.

On this day the 9th of July 2006, exactly fourteen years ago, the people of Bakassi came out to express their desire to be part of Nigeria.

Bakassi-Peninsula-by-The-Guardian-Nigeria.j
Bakassi-Peninsula-by-The-Guardian-Nigeria.

Bakassi is the peninsular extension of the African territory of Calabar, in Cross river state Nigeria, into the Atlantic Ocean. However, it has become a disputed land between Nigeria and Cameroon. In 1981 the two countries went to the brinks of war over Bakassi and another area around Lake Chad.

Bakassian leaders threatened to seek independence if Nigeria renounced sovereignty. This secession was announced on 9 July 2006, as the “Democratic Republic of Bakassi”. The decision was reportedly made at a meeting on 2 July 2006 and The Vanguard newspaper of Nigeria reported the decision to secede.

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The decision to secede was reportedly made by groups of militants which included Southern Cameroon under the aegis of Southern Cameroons Peoples Organization (SCAPO), Bakassi Movement for Self-Determination (BAMOSD), and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

Resolution

On 13 June 2006, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Paul Biya of Cameroon resolved the dispute in talks led by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York City. Obasanjo agreed to withdraw Nigerian troops within 60 days and to leave the territory completely in Cameroonian control within the next two years. Further on this, Annan said, “With today’s agreement on the Bakassi peninsula, a comprehensive resolution of the dispute is within our grasp. The momentum achieved must be sustained.”

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About Samuel Omaenikun

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