The House of Representatives ad hoc Committee on International Boundary Dispute, on Tuesday, directed that the demarcation exercise to cede Sina Area in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State to the Republic of Cameroon be halted immediately.
Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Hon Beni Lar, gave the ruling at a hearing on the series of lingering boundary hotspots across the Nigeria-Cameroon boundaries, which stretched from up the Lake Chad region down to Cross River estuaries.
The hearing was meant to assess the role of the military and paramilitary and security agencies to safeguard the borders and territorial integrity of the country.
Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Adamu Adaji; a representative from Sina Area, Adamu Kamale; the Solicitor General of the Federation, Beatrice Jedy-Agba who represented the Attorney General; as well as representatives of the security agencies were in attendance.
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 exercise 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 for the DANARE-BIJUA AXIS of Cross River State and as a fall out of that, the Rt. Hon Speaker through a request by Hon. 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 paramilitary 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 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 the NBC, Adamu Adaji, said the demarcation exercise was being carried out in line with a ruling of the International Court of Justice adding that so far the sub-commission on demarcation has emplaced a total of 2, 214 pillars along the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon.
Representative of Sina Area, Adamu Kamale, said the disputed area was a Nigerian territory and was never a settlement, adding that, the community was never considered in the entire demarcation process.
Juliet Akoje in Abuja