Reps probe alleged killing of 97 Nigerians in Bakassi by Cameroonian Gendarmes
Summon Adeosun over N2tr environment fund
The House of Representatives yesterday ordered an immediate probe into the alleged killing of 97 Nigerians by Cameroonian Gendarmes in the Bakassi Peninsula.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by Babatunde Kolawole entitled: “Alleged killing of 97 Nigerians by Cameroonian Gendarmes” at the plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
The House directed the Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje-led Committee on Foreign Affairs to probe the issue and report back to the House for further legislative action.
While moving the motion, Kolawole made reference to media reports stating how 97 Nigerians were murdered in cold blood in the Bakassi peninsula by the Cameroonian Gendarmes due to their inability to pay a N100, 000 levy on each fishing boat.
This, he said was in spite of the clauses in the Green Tree Agreement (GTA) signed between Nigerian and Cameroonian governments which protect the citizenry in the ceded areas from harm.
He further recalled that besides the recent murder of Nigerians, there were reports of harassment, rape and killings of Nigerians perpetrated by the notorious Cameroonian Gendarmes over the years.
The lawmaker lamented the inaction of the authorities, noting that it behooves the authorities to curtail the senseless killings and harassment of Nigerians in the Bakassi peninsula.
The move by the legislators is apparently to draw the Federal Government from its current passive mode and cause it to intervene decisively in the incessant harassment of Nigerians living in the Bakassi Peninsula by Cameroonian Gendarmes.
Acknowledging the fact that the Federal Government had summoned the Cameroonian ambassador over the matter, Kolawole stressed the need for the House as the people’s parliament to send a clear signal to the Cameroonian authorities.
“We can’t sit and watch as a people’s parliament while the lives of our citizens are wasted with impunity. If nothing is done to stop this ugly development, the lives of other Nigerians would be at stake as the Gendarmes may continue to kill them at will without the fear of recriminations,” he said.
Elendu-Ukeje who spoke in the same vein urged the lawmakers to exercise restraint since the issue is still in the realm of speculations.
She said the outcome of the investigation should be used as the basis for the required action by the authorities.
Dogara who expressed support for the position canvased by Elendu-Ukeje subsequently referred the motion to her committee for further investigation.
Also yesterday, the lawmakers summoned Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to appear before the House Committee on Finance to explain the disbursements of N2.7 trillion meant for combating challenges in the country’s environment.
The amount, the lawmakers said, was the total package that had been set aside by the Federal Government in dealing with issues in the sector.
The summons followed a motion by the Chairman, House Committee on Environment and Habitat, Obinna Chidoka, who alleged the non- inclusion of Anambra State in the list of benefiting states in the N1.6 billion recently approved by government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for combating flooding in 16 states.
He said like other states affected by the floods, “the heavy rainfall that occurred at the weekend led to severe flooding in several communities in Anambra State, including Obosi, Nkpor, Ogidi, Awka and Ogbaru and residents of the affected areas, including women, children, the sick and vulnerable were rendered homeless.”
In his contribution, Chris Azubogu (PDP, Anambra) said rather than urge the Federal Government to effect the inclusion, the request should be to the officials who decided on the list. He said the finance ministry was one of such deciding bodies.
Based on this, Aliyu Bahago Ahman- Pategi (APC, Kwara) suggested that Adeosun should be called upon to appear before the finance committee to give account of how the various intervention funds are being utilised for the purposes they are meant for.
The explanations, he said, would determine whether Anambra State has benefited from the entire scheme in any way or not.