The New Bakassi Local Government Area is located in the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State and Shares her boundaries with Akpabuyo Local Government in the North, to the West Calabar South and to the East the Republic of Cameroun while in the South the Bight of Biafra, the Atlantic Ocean with headquarter at Ikot Effiom, Bakassi.
Bakassi Local Government Area in the past was a peninsula on the Gulf of Guinea. It laid between the Cross River estuary, in the west of the Bight of Biafra, and the Rio del Ray estuary on the east. The then Bakassi Local Government Area which was a peninsula was formally handed over by Nigeria to Cameroon in 2006.
Local Government Area
Location of Bakassi Local Government Area in Cross River State
|Created||December 12, 1996|
|Local Government Headquarter||Ikot Effiom|
|Chairman||Hon. Iyadim Amboni Iyadim|
|Vice Chairman||Hon. Mrs. Lawrencia Effiong Ita|
|Leader||Hon. Emmanuel Michael Effiong|
|Paramount Ruler||HRM Etiyin Etim Okon Edet|
Bakassi Local Government Area is bounded in the North by Akpabuyo Local Government, to the west by Calabar South, to the south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the East by Republic of Cameroun.
The Old Bakassi Local Government Area was situated at the extreme eastern end of the Gulf of Guinea, where the warm east-flowing Guinea Current (called Aya Efiat in Efik) meets the cold north-flowing Benguela Current (called Aya Ubenekang in Efik). These two ocean currents interact, creating huge foamy breakers which constantly advance towards the shore, and building submarine shoals rich in fish, shrimps, and a wide variety of other marine life forms. This makes the Bakassi area a very fertile fishing ground.
During the Scramble for Africa, Queen Victoria signed a Treaty of Protection with the King and Chiefs of Akwa Akpa, known to Europeans as Old Calabar on 10 September 1884. This enabled the British Empire to exercise control over the entire territory around Calabar, including Bakassi. The territory subsequently became de facto part of Nigeria, although the border was never permanently delineated. However, documents released by the Cameroonians, in parity with that of the British and Germans, clearly places Bakassi under Cameroonian Territory as a consequence of colonial era Anglo-German agreements. After Southern Cameroons voted in 1961 to leave Nigeria and became a part of Cameroon, Bakassi remained under Calabar administration in Nigeria until ICJ judgement of 2002.
Nigeria and Cameroon have disputed the possession of Bakassi for some years, leading to considerable tension between the two countries. In 1981 the two countries went to the brink of war over Bakassi and another area around Lake Chad, at the other end of the two countries’ common border. More armed clashes broke out in the early 1990s. In response, Cameroon took the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 29 March 1994.
The case was extremely complex, requiring the court to review diplomatic exchanges dating back over 100 years. Nigeria relied largely on Anglo-German correspondence dating from 1885 as well as treaties between the colonial powers and the indigenous rulers in the area, particularly the 1884 Treaty of Protection. Cameroon pointed to the Anglo-German treaty of 1913, which defined sphere of control in the region, as well as two agreements signed in the 1970s between Cameroon and Nigeria. These were the Yaoundé II Declaration of 4 April 1971 and the Maroua Declaration of 1 June 1975, which were devised to outline maritime boundaries between the two countries following their independence. The line was drawn through the Cross River estuary to the west of the peninsula, thereby implying Cameroonian ownership over Bakassi. However, Nigeria never ratified the agreement, while Cameroon regarded it as being in force.
The ICJ delivered its judgment on 10 October 2002, finding (based principally on the Anglo-German agreements) that sovereignty over Bakassi did indeed rest with Cameroon. It instructed Nigeria to transfer possession of the peninsula, but did not require the inhabitants to move or to change their nationality. Cameroon was thus given a substantial Nigerian population and was required to protect their rights, infrastructure and welfare
On 13 June 2006, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Paul Biya of Cameroon resolved the dispute in talks led by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York City. Obasanjo agreed to withdraw Nigerian troops within 60 days and to leave the territory completely in Cameroonian control within the next two years. Annan said, “With today’s agreement on the Bakassi peninsula, a comprehensive resolution of the dispute is within our grasp. The momentum achieved must be sustained.”
Nigeria began to withdraw its forces, comprising some 3,000 troops, beginning 1 August 2006, and a ceremony on 14 August marked the formal handover of the northern part of the peninsula. The remainder stayed under Nigerian civil authority for two more years.
On 22 November 2007, the Nigerian Senate passed a resolution declaring that the withdrawal from the Bakassi Peninsula was illegal. The government took no action, and handed the final parts of Bakassi over to Cameroon on 14 August 2008 as planned, but a Federal High Court had stated this should be delayed until all accommodations for resettled Bakassians had been settled; the government did not seem to plan to heed this court order, and set the necessary mechanisms into motion to override it. Fishermen displaced from Bakassi were first settled in a landlocked area called New Bakassi, which they claimed was already inhabited and not suitable for fishermen like them but only for farmers. The displaced people were then moved to Akpabuyo, and eventually established a new community of Dayspring.
Local Government Wards
There are ten wards in the local government area. The wards are:
PEOPLE AND LANGUAGE
The major ethnic groups are the Efiks, Quas and Efuts. The major languages spoken are Efik, Ibibio and English. The Ibibio language is as a result of some migrant from Akwa Ibom state, Although, English is an official language. All the major ethnic groups share a common cultural and ancestral heritage.
FOOD IN BAKASSI
The people here delight much in eating Afang soup, Afia Efere (white soup), Atama soup, Efere Etighi (Okra soup), and Abak Nmong Nmong Ikong. Others are Edesi isip (efik coconut rice), Edikaikong Soup, Iwuk Edesi (Native jollof rice), Surf and turf otong soup. Also, they eat Efere Ine (Fisherman’s soup), Ekpan Nkwukwo, Ukwogho Etidot ( Efik Bitter leaf soup), Abak Afang (banga) soup, Iwuk Ukom (plantain pottage), Yam with Ukang sauce, Editan Soup, Ukang Ukom, Steamed Cocoyam (Ayan Ekpang), and Otong Soup. Facts remains that the food eaten in this town are much.
The land is rich in mineral deposits such as petroleum deposits, gold, limestone, sand and slat deposits to mention a few. All these are available in commercial quantities for prospective explorers.
PAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT CHAIRMEN