President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said Nigeria would abide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment on Bakassi Peninsula.
Speaking at a joint press briefing with President Paul Biya of Cameroon in Abuja, the Nigerian leader said the issue of hydrocarbons in the Bakassi region was brought to the attention of the ICJ.
He said Nigeria had accepted the judgment, but the technical aspect of the international waters had yet to be fully determined.
Buhari said an international committee of experts from Nigeria and Cameroon was set up and the country was awaiting the report of that committee.
”On this Bakassi Peninsula issue, I will like the government and people of Cameroun to keep their minds at peace, Nigeria we are internationally respectful and abiding nation, somehow there was a crisis between the two nations on Bakassi Penisula over the hydro carbon exploitation, this issue has been dealt with by the International Court of Justice,” he said.
“There is a technical committee of experts, comprising Cameroun and Nigeria sides, until this committee report gets to us and when they submit the report, I expect that with a few of us that are still around, we shall sit together and see what is the best way for the two countries, so feel secured and be at peace.”
Buhari appreciated the visit of Biya and his delegation, adding that the bilateral meeting was fruitful and beneficial to the two countries.
He noted that Nigeria’s economy was based on agriculture before oil was discovered and wondered why the important resource base was abandoned by past administrations.
“Now we have to go back to the basics and to do that we need the cooperation of our immediate neighbours,” he said.
He urged cooperation in the area of security and also thanked the G-7 countries for assisting in the fight against insurgency via technology, communication and intelligence.
Buhari, however, said his administration was alive to its responsibilities and would remain focused in the fight against terror in the region and the continent.
Biya described the allegation that his country was reluctant in joining forces with the Lake Chad Basin countries to fight Boko Haram as an effort to malign his country.
“I heard of this information before, I heard it in New York during conference, that Cameroon serves as base for Boko Haram, but what can Cameroon benefit from that?” he asked.
“Is it the ideology? Are we going to benefit from finances? No it was just a bad press. Cameroon remains focused and committed to the fight against Boko Haram.
”Nigerian and Cameroon military under the multinational joint task force, especially the two recent joint operations conducted in Ngoshe and Kumti, both within the Nigerian territory and the ongoing clearance operation being carried out by militaries of the two countries to bring the activities of the terrorists to an end is highly commendable.”
Both Presidents agreed that the tripartite meeting of the two countries and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) be convened by July 2016, with a view to agreeing on a framework for the safe return of Nigerian refugees currently hosted by Cameroon.
In a communique made available to reporters, both countries welcomed ongoing discussions on the fate of arrested Boko Haram members.