The House of Representatives ad hoc committee on international boundary dispute has directed that Sina area in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State be ceded to the Republic of Cameroon immediately.
Chairman of the committee, Beni Lar, gave the ruling during a hearing on the series of lingering boundary hotspots across the Nigeria-Cameroon boundaries which stretches from the Lake Chad region down to Cross River estuaries.
The hearing was also to assess the role of the military and para-military and security agencies to safeguard the borders and territorial integrity of the country.
In attendance at the hearing was the Director General of the National Boundary Commission, NBC, Adamu Adaji; a representative from Sina Area, Adamu Kamale; the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Beatrice Jedy-Agba, who represented the Attorney General of the Federation; as well as representatives of security agencies.
Lar said: “We have to continue this engagement with the relevant community and the boundary commission and come up with a solution. Let us go on a fact-finding mission and then we will intervene.
‘’The communities have a right and their right must be considered. This demarcation has to be put on hold until the disputes are resolved. It should be halted pending the resolution of this committee. We would visit Adamawa and come up with a comprehensive report. “We will recall that we did the first phase of this, similar to the DANARE-BIAJUA AXIS of Cross River State and as a fallout of that, the speaker through a request by Dauda Nyampa, included this SINA AREA to the committee’s terms of reference.
“As usual, we are to interact on the aspects of the likely ceding of SINA to Cameroon. Thereafter, we pay an ‘on-the-spot fact-finding visit’ to Adamawa, of which we have notified the executive governor.”
“The second aspect of this interactive briefing, which is very critical and crucial is on the role of the military, the para-military and the security agencies towards safeguarding the borders & territorial integrity of Nigeria: this briefing is to leverage inputs from the guarantors of our national security – the Army and the various security agencies.
‘’This is because in the committee’s last visit to Cross River State, we discovered the lack of security posts or barracks of any sort along our land borders whereas such is obtained across the Cameroon side of borders, hence, the necessity of this interactive session with our security formations.’’
Director General of NBC, Adamu Adaji, said the demarcation was being carried out in line with a ruling of the International Court of Justice, ICJ.
He said so far, the sub-commission on demarcation had placed a total of 2,214 pillars along the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon.
“The Adamawa State sector of the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon as decided by the International Court of Justice, is based on treaties and agreements that had been entered into by colonial masters.
‘’The courts upheld these treaties and agreements and ruled that they be used to re-establish the boundary. It is not a new boundary; it is a boundary that has been existing and there are documents that show the fact these boundaries have been existing.
‘’What the court ruled is go and use this document to re-establish the boundary as it has always been recognized,’’ he said.
The representative of Sina Area, Adamu Kamale, said the disputed area was a Nigerian territory and never a settlement.
Kamale, who noted that the community was never considered in the entire demarcation process, said: “From Lake Chad to Bakassi, the ICJ ruled on several communities based on different criteria.