Apparently dismissing the processes leading to the controversial ceding of the Bakassi Peninsula to the Republic of Cameroon by Nigeria, Minister of the Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, has insisted that until the approval of the Green Tree Agreement by the National Assembly, the handover of Bakassi could not be said to be legal.
Speaking in Lagos during the week, the Minister said: “When you look at the constitutionality to cede that part of Nigeria, the desire of the people and their ongoing agitation that they want to remain part of Nigeria, I want to think that until all the requirements have been met, the situation in Bakassi cannot be said to be legal.”
Moro contended that without a thorough appreciation of the peculiar situation of the Bakassi dwellers, their convenience and welfare, Nigeria could not be said to have acted equitably on the part of the affected residents. “It is against this background that the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives has taken a position to revisit the issue and look at the legality of the whole process. Also, not only the legality but the convenience and welfare of Nigerians that reside in Bakassi.
Reacting to the charge that the Nigerian government acquiesced easily to the verdict of the International Court of Justice, despite its alleged faulty judgment, Moro said the action of the Federal Government to give away the Peninsula in line with the ICJ ruling was not a complete acceptance. “From the unfolding development now, you will agree with me that it was not a complete acceptance in the sense that it was the executive level of government that actually agreed to tag along. The National Assembly that has the final decision as to whether the whole process had been complied with, to give approval or affirmation to the entire process had not been involved, it had not given its consent and affirmation to the Green Tree Agreement.”