THE House of Representatives, yesterday, started a probe of alleged killing of 97 Nigerians in the ceded Bakassi Peninsula by Cameroonian Gendarmes.
Consequently, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs has been mandated to probe deeper into the matter and report back for further legislative input. This development was, however, based on the passage of a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by a member, Babatunde Kolawole, entitled: “Alleged killing of 97 Nigerians by Cameroonian Gendarmes.” Kolawole, while moving the motion, said: “Last week, there were several media reports that 97 Nigerians have been killed in Bakassi by Cameroonian Gendarmes because they could not afford a N100,000 levy on each fishing boat. “This is in spite of the clauses in the Green Tree Agreement signed between Nigerian and Cameroonian Governments, which protect our citizens in the ceded areas from harm. “Apart from this recent attacks, there have been reports of harassment, rape and killings of Nigerians by the Gendarmes over the years with the Nigerian government seemingly doing little or nothing to stop it. “If nothing is done to stop this ugly development, other Nigerian lives would be at stake as the Gendarmes may continue to kill Nigerians at will without fear of recriminations.” Some lawmakers decried the attitude of the Cameroonian Gendarmes perceived use of excessive force against Nigerian citizens in the ceded Bakassi region. But the Chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,Rep Nnena Elendu-Ukeje,PDP, Abia cautioned the lawmakers, saying the issue is still in the realm of speculations and hence it should be investigated before coming to a definitive conclusion. The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, referred the motion to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for further legislative input.