Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is expected in Yaoundé for the celebrations of the 15th anniversary of the transfer of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon, by Nigeria. The arrival is announced in a letter sent on July 31 by Felix Mbayu, Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations, to Paul Atanga Nji, Minister of Territorial Administration. "I am pleased to inform you that the eve of the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the transfer of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon by Nigeria (...) will be marked by the presence of the former Nigerian Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, as a guest of honor of the Head of State Paul Biya…," wrote Felix Mbayu.
The letter provides no further details on this forthcoming event. The subject of the letter is an incident involving Nigerian fishermen. According to the letter, on July 25 the Mouanko subdivisional officer, Roland Ngah Koa, temporarily suspended the Nigerian community of Mbiako from all fishing activities on the grounds that they boycotted the preparations for the 51st National Day (May 20, 2023).
For Felix Mbayu, this decision is likely to disrupt the celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of the transfer. According to Mbayu, the decision "is bound to give rise to speculation as to the treatment reserved for the Nigerian community living in Cameroon." He, therefore, asked the Minister of Territorial Administration to take steps to "preserve social cohesion and harmony in this administrative unit".
The Nigerian army left the Bakassi peninsula in the South-West region on August 14, 2008. This followed a judicial marathon that culminated in October 2002 with the International Court of Justice's decision to recognize Cameroon's sovereignty over this oil-rich part of the territory. The shared management of Bakassi -home to many Nigerians- came to an end on August 14, 2013, and the Greentree agreements were implemented with Cameroon becoming the sole authority in that peninsula. Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007, greatly contributed to the peaceful resolution of this dispute.