President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday denied that Nigeria is exploiting the hydrocarbon deposits in the disputed Bakassi Peninsula.
Buhari gave the assurance during a question-and-answer session with his visiting Cameroonian President Paul Biya, to mark the end of his two-day state visit to Nigeria.
Buhari’s denial is coming just as his guest debunked media reports that Cameroun initially did not cooperate with Nigeria to wipe out Boko Haram when the problem started.
The Nigerian leader was reacting to a question by a Cameroonian journalist on Biya’s entourage on the concerns of the people of his country that Nigeria was exploiting the hydrocarbon deposits in the Bakassi Peninsula without recourse to the Camerounian authorities.
Buhari said, “On this issue I will like the government and people of Cameroun to keep their minds at peace. In Nigeria, we are a respectful and law-abiding nation. Somehow, there was a crisis between the two nations on Bakassi Peninsula over the hydrocarbon exploitation, the International Court of Justice is dealing with this issue.
“On the international waters, there is a committee of experts comprising Cameroun and Nigeria sides. I cannot fully answer that question until after the outcome of 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 secure and be at peace.”
Biya confirmed that he had heard media reports that Cameroun, alongside Niger did not cooperate with Nigeria to wipe out Boko Haram, saying nothing could be farther from the truth, noting that it was intended to give his country a bad name.
His words: “Yes I have heard of this information, I heard in New York during an international conference that Cameroun serves as the base for Boko Haram. What can Cameroun benefit from that? Is it the ideologies? Are we going to benefit from finances? No, it was just a bad press and Cameroun remains focused and committed in the fight against Boko Haram.”