The House of Representatives ad hoc committee on International Boundary Dispute has halted plans to cede Sina in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State to the Republic of Cameroon.
The Chairman of the Committee, Beni Lar, gave the ruling in Abuja on Tuesday at an investigative hearing on the Nigeria-Cameroon boundary disputes, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Lar said the demarcation of the boundary must be put on hold until the disputes were resolved, adding that the committee would visit Adamawa State to get a comprehensive report.
She said, “We will recall that we did the first phase of this, similar to the DANARE-BIAJUA axis of Cross River State, and as a fallout of that, the Speaker, through a request by Rep. Dauda Nyampa, included Sina area to the committee’s terms of reference.”
She stated that the committee would visit Adamawa State on a fact-finding mission, adding that the committee had already notified the governor of the visit.
She further said that the committee discovered that there was lack of security posts and barracks on the nation’s land borders, whereas such were visible on the Cameroon side of the borders.
This, according to Lar, necessitated the interactive session with the security formations, which was to assess the role of security agencies in safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country.
Speaking, the Director General, National Boundary Commission, Adamu Adaji, said the demarcation was being carried out in line with the ruling of the International Court of Justice.
He said so far, the sub-commission on demarcation had emplaced a total of 2,214 pillars on the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon.
Adamu said, “The Adamawa State sector of the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon as decided by the International Court of Justice is based on treaties and agreements that had been entered into by colonial masters.
“The courts upheld these treaties and agreements and ruled that they be used to re-establish the boundary.
“It is not a new boundary.
“It is a boundary that has been existing and there are documents that show the fact that these boundaries have been existing.
“What the court ruled was that go and use this document to re-establish the boundary as it has always been recognised.”
The representative of Sina community, 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.
Kamale said, “From Lake Chad to Bakassi, the ICJ ruled on several communities based on different criteria.
“The criteria used for Bakassi is not the same used for Michika LGA.
“In our own case, the ruling stated clearly that it is the watershed and if watershed is to be used, it means any territory that is on the flank to left as you are coming from Lake Chad falls into Cameroon.
“And any community to the right falls to Nigeria because both countries had an agreement on the ruling.”
Kamale said the position of Cameroon was that the foot of the mountain was to be adopted as the border line, adding that Nigeria averred that it must be the watershed and Nigeria won.
He said the court made a pronouncement on the Nigerian submission that it was the watershed that should be used.