NIGERIA-CAMEROON RELATIONS: A HISTORICAL APPRAISAL

RESEARCH PROPOSAL Chapter One: Introduction Nigeria-Cameroon is historically seen within the purview of the border dispute over Bakassi Peninsula. The Peninsula has been a bone of contention between the two countries dating back to the colonial period. On august 6th 1861, an agreement was concluded between King Dosumu and the British Crown in which the latter agreed to cede Lagos to the British Crown and by 1862, Lagos was proclaimed a colony. In the same vein, on September 10, 1884, similar agreement was signed between the kings and chiefs of old Calabar and the British government. In this agreement, the British government agreed to protect all the territories controlled by the Obong of Calabar, and true enough, Bakassi was one of these territories. The Bakassi was under the jurisdiction of the Efik Kingdom as at the time (September 10, 1884) when the agreement was signed. However, the political and commercial hegemony enjoyed by Britain in the West African Coast was challenged by the Germans on July 14th, 1884 under the German Consul General, Dr. Nachtigal who entered into treaty agreement with two Douala chiefs. This was followed by hoisting of German flags in Douala and Bimba which belonged to Cameroon. Although Germany by 1880 has had contacts with the Cameroonian people, one could say that Cameroon as a political entity came into existence by virtue of the treaty mentioned above. Thus, the identification of Cameroon as a political unit in this area brought to the fore the question of demarcation of spheres of influence between Britain and Germany, thus leading to the establishment of boundaries. Thus, this development marked the beginning of rivalry and conflict between Britain and Germany over their colonial possessions and which was eventually inherited by the two West African Countries even after independence. Hostilities and military confrontations broke out in the early 1990s between Cameroon and Nigeria. In 1994, Cameroon asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, to settle a dispute over its boundary with Nigeria, especially the question of sovereignty over the Bakassi peninsula, and over islands in Lake Chad, and to specify the course of the land and maritime boundary between the two countries. After eight years of adjudication, the Court delivered its judgment on the merits of the case on 10th October 2002, deciding, in part, that sovereignty over the Bakassi peninsula and in the disputed area in

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