Buhari puts closure to Bakassi dispute with Cameroon

President Muhammadu Buhari has foreclosed any revival of Nigeria’s claim to the Bakassi Peninsula which had been ceded to Cameroon.
It was one of the highlights of the Nigerian leader’s first official visit to the neighbouring country, whose main focus was the regional threat posed by Boko Haram.
The peninsula was handed to Cameroon by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague which ruled in favour of Yaounde in 2002.
The ICJ judgment came after many years of political and legal disputes, and occasional violent clashes.
Cameroon finally took full sovereignty over the disputed territory of Bakassi in 2008, five years after an agreement with Nigeria signalling the end of bloody conflicts over the land.
The peninsula was administered by Nigeria from independence in 1960.
Full implementation
However, Cameroon based its claim of sovereignty over the region on maps dating back to the colonial era.
The two countries nearly went to war over Bakassi in 1981 more bloody clashes claimed many lives in 1994.
Nigeria at first rejected 2002 ICJ the ruling, but the UN intervened and the two countries set up a UN-chaired joint commission to resolve the conflict.
Nigeria formally ceded Bakassi to Cameroon on August 14, 2008, but the controversy persisted until Wednesday when President Buhari who was on a working visit to Cameroon nailed the deal.
President Buhari’s special aisor Femi Adesina said in a statement on Thursday that the president told an interactive session with Nigerians living in Cameroon that his administration would ensure faithful implementation of the Bakassi agreement.
“Since Nigeria allowed the case to go to court (ICJ), and we lost, we have to abide by it,” Buhari said.
Bakassi is a 1,000-square-kilometre patch of Atlantic coastal swamp which is believed to have rich oil deposits.