97 Feared Dead As Gendermes Attack Bakassi Nigerian Residents

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About 97 Nigerians are feared killed as Cameroon Gendermes allegedly attacked residents of Bakassi over failure to pay a N100,000 boat levy.

It was learnt that the attackers sacked mainly Nigerians from Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Ondo states. Many others escaped at midnight with their fishing boats and arrived at Ikang in Bakassi and Ibaka in Akwa Ibom.

The killing and sacking of Nigerians in former Bakassi is believed to be a violation of the 2005 Green Tree Agreement (GTA) by the Nigeria-Cameroon Mixed Commission which stipulates that the Bakassi returnees must be properly resettled to their natural habitat so that they can have a meaningful living. The GTA also states that Nigerians who choose to remain in Cameroon can do so without any molestation. The agreement makes it clear that there would be a committee monitoring the activities but since the day the treaty was signed, Bakassi people have not seen any monitoring team.

Federal government officials yesterday evaded questions from The Guardian as government spokesmen failed to respond to inquiries. Three text messages seeking clarification on what the official reaction of Nigeria would be did not elicit any response. At Ikang beach, it was a picture of abandoned and traumatised people. Most of them remained at the jetty looking disillusioned and rejected, while a few women with their babies and children moved into Ikang village for shelter.