The Republic of Cameroon is said to have taken over 16 mangrove island villages of Effiat clan in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The area, which is mainly a fishing settlement and has an abundance of oil and gas, lies west of Rio Del Ray estuary- the official borderline between Nigeria and her neighbor, Cameroon.
According Samuel Ufuo, a member representing Mbo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, the extension action of Cameroon poses a threat to the sovereignty of Nigeria’s maritime border.
Ufuo, who said he had tabled the matter before the state assembly, also noted that security agents from Central African nation’s have been disturbing Nigerians in the area who engage in economic activities.
“Cameroon has annexed 16 villages in Effiat clan, Mbo Local Government Area, which were not part of the peninsula under dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon.”
“Mbo mangrove island is currently under the administrative control of Cameroon. This island is blessed with resources such as minerals and copious fishing routes. The island has approximately 350 oil wells. The strategic economic importance of this region brought the envy by our Cameroon brothers.”
“It is pathetic to note that Akwa Ibom people who are living in their villages established when there was no Nigeria or Cameroon as countries are being terrorised, dehumanised, deprived of their rights and privileges and maltreated by Cameroonian security agencies.”
Ufuo, who called on the state government and federal government to investigate and act on the matter, also claimed that Cameroon had made an earlier attempt to take parts of Nigeria and disrupt the official demarcation.
“Cameroon in an earlier attempt to take over another part of Nigeria which was not part of the peninsula ceded to it in 2002 removed pillar 113A and started encroaching on our land until Nigerian communities occupying the territory raised the alarm.”
The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, and his Cameroonian counterpart, Paul Biya, last year slated December 2016 for the final demarcation of maritime boundaries of the two countries.