By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
CALABAR – FOR insisting that the federal government will not appeal against the International Court of Justice, ICJ, judgment of October 10, 2002 that ceded the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, a human right activist, Barrister Ofem Obono-Obla has called on the National assembly to commence impeachment process on President Goodluck Jonathan for alleged treason.
Obono-Obla in an interview with Vanguard in Calabar, the Cross River state capital Thursday said it was an infringement on the right of self determination of the displaced Bakassi indigenes to be forced by the Nigerian government to join Cameroon when they are not willing to do so.
He said, “It is wrong for the president to say it is not going back to appeal against the ICJ judgment. That amounts an infringement of the constitution, the constitution says that every international treaty entered into by Nigeria must be ratified by the senate. That so-called Green Tree Agreement has not been ratified.
“If the president says it is not going back, it has committed an impeachable offence, it is treason. For him to give away a section of the federal republic of Nigeria under the pretence that there is a green tree agreement that has not been ratified by the senate.
“The National Assembly should compel him to go to the ICJ and seek for a revisit of that judgment or impeach him. He cannot give away Nigerian territory like that despite the outcry, it is treason,” he said.
The radical lawyer who expressed disappointment over the position of the presidency towards the Bakassi issue said, “It is a huge disappointment. I am feeling very despondent, I am feeling very sad that the president who had taken the vote of office to defend the territorial integrity of this country has given up on an area that constitute the federal republic of Nigeria.”
According to him the area was given away without recourse to the Nigeria constitution, the international law and due process and most importantly without taking into consideration the feelings, the hopes, agitations and aspiration of the people of Bakassi, stressing that the action remained an infringement on international law and the right of self determination.
“If the judgment of the international court of Justice deviated from the content of self determination, that judgment has to be reviewed or revisited. I do not see why the Nigerian government is reluctant. This is the first country that has rushed to implement the judgment of the ICJ,” he said.
Also speaking to Vanguard, the Cross River state Chairman of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, Hon. Cletus Obun described the action of the president as a clear indication of the constitution of the country, adding that the Nigeria nation has made the state a land of suffering and torture.
Obun said the careless giving away of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon and the lukewarm attitude of government on issues that concern the state indicated that there was a subtle design to excise the state from the map of the country.
He said, “We find it completely unacceptable and we feel that Nigeria must take a decision on whether Cross River State is still part of its national territory and deserves under Section 14 of the Constitution to be protected and the welfare of its people taken care of.
“This is clearly a violation of the Constitution, a careless non attendant and a negligence that can result to no other thing than secession. We demand secession through a referendum and Nigeria must do that so that we peacefully find our way into self determination.
“We have that under the International Treaty including the African Charter on people human right. We have the right to decide the country we belong to. Nigeria must quickly take that decision because it is becoming apparent that Nigeria no longer takes Cross Riverian as part of the national territory,” Obun stated.