Bakassi is a border region in the oil-rich Delta region of Nigeria.
In 2002 an International Court of Justice at the Hague ruled that the disputed region be ceded to Cameroon. Part of the region was handed over in 2006. Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua has reportedly assured his Cameroonian counterpart that the handover would go ahead as planned.
However, this week a federal high court, ruling in favor of the people of Bakassi, said the handover should be delayed until a compensation claim is resolved.
Cletus Obun is a community leader in cross river state in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He told Nightline’s Akwei Thompson the people of Bakassi are asking for more than a delay of transfer their oil-rich region.
“The people of Bakassi are asking for a full stoppage of the process because it violates the sovereignty of Nigeria as a nation ” he said.
The Bakassi community leader said
not only has the right of self-determination of the people of Bakassi been
fundamentally violated, but that the Nigerian government “did not exhaust all
the avenues that are applicable to them under the international statute.”
Sighting as an example, among several others, Obun went on to say that Nigeria failed to exercise “the right within ten years to appeal against the judgment of the International Criminal Court, for judicial review within the International Court at the Hague.”