Ad-Hoc C’tee Holds Public Hearing on Nigeria-Cameroon International Boundary Dispute in C’River state

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Calabar, Cross RiverThe Ad-Hoc Committee on International Boundary Dispute, chaired by Rt. Hon. Beni Lar, held a crucial public hearing in Calabar, Cross River state, to investigate the looming boundary dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon NEGROIDHAVEN can report. 

The public hearing, which took place on Tuesday, 1st August 2023, focused on the non-traceability and possible displacement of a vital international pillar, 113A, in the demarcation of the boundaries between the two nations, particularly in the Biajua and Danare communities of Boki Local Government Area in Cross River State.

In response to a resolution passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 5th July 2023, the Ad-Hoc Committee embarked on this fact-finding mission to unravel the circumstances leading to the displacement of the international pillar. The committee noted that the absence of the pillar poses a significant existential threat, as it could potentially cede vital areas of Nigeria to Cameroon.

During the preliminary stage of their work, the committee sought guidance and briefs from relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the government. Memoranda from the National Boundary Commission and the Surveyor General of the Federation, key technical institutions charged with the subject matter, have been received and considered.

To gather inputs directly from the affected communities, the Ad-Hoc Committee organised an open interactive session, during which stakeholders were invited to share their perspectives. The public hearing in Calabar the state capital metropolis was a continuation of this effort to engage with those directly impacted by the boundary dispute.

Rt. Hon. Beni Lar emphasised the importance of this fact-finding mission, stating that it aims to ‘leverage inputs from the affected communities’ since they are the ones experiencing the consequences of the dispute. The chairperson stressed that their mission was solely to gather information, listen to the concerns of the communities, and draw a comprehensive communique based on the inputs received.

Danare Community in Boki LGA presenting her position paper to the Chair of the Ad-hoc Committee on International Boundary dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon

Participants at the public hearing included His Excellency, the Governor of Cross River State represented by his Chief of General Staff Emmanuel Ironbar, distinguished senators and honorable colleagues from both the Federal and State Assembly, members of the State Executive Council, State Royal Council members, members of the press, and other stakeholders.

The Ad-Hoc Committee also visited the points of turmoil in the affected communities before holding the open public hearing. Rt. Hon. Beni Lar expressed gratitude to all participants and respondents in the session, emphasizing the importance of their contributions to the fact-finding process.

As the public hearing concluded, the committee continues its work to prepare a final report that will be submitted to the Federal Parliament, providing a comprehensive understanding of the Nigeria-Cameroon International Boundary Dispute and suggesting appropriate measures to address the situation.