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Reps seek military intervention over Cameroon invasion

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The House of Representatives has called on President Bola Tinubu to deploy military forces urgently to the Okwa Community in Cross River State, following an alleged invasion by armed assailants from neighbouring Cameroon.

The House also urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to initiate diplomatic efforts for a peaceful resolution to the security challenges in the region.

The resolution came after the adoption of a motion titled “Threat of Invasion of Okwa Community, Boki Local Government Area by Cameroon,” moved by Hon. Victor Abang.

Abang highlighted the urgent security concern in Okwa Community, where armed individuals suspected to be of Cameroonian origin invaded on December 11, 2023.

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The invaders shot sporadically, issued threats to burn down the community, and prohibited locals from accessing their farmland without provocation.

The incident created distress and fear among the residents. Abang also mentioned the summary execution of Chief Ogweshi Francis Ongwele on December 5, 2023, in a neighbouring community, resulting in injuries, kidnappings, and community destruction by the same assailants from Cameroon.

Abang emphasized that Okwa, a Nigerian community, shares borders with communities in Southeastern Cameroon and is within the Gorilla Protection Unit of the Okwangwo Division of the Cross River National Park.

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He stressed that Okwa is an integral part of Nigeria, inhabited by citizens who strongly identify with their Nigerian heritage.

“This is not a case of a border dispute but an invasion of Nigeria’s sovereignty by another country, which amounts to an act of war and violation of the principles of international law on international boundaries,” Abang stated.

He warned of potential annihilation of the Okwa community if immediate actions are not taken to ensure the security of Nigerians and their properties in the borderland.

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The House Committees on Defense, Foreign Affairs, Security, and Intelligence were tasked with overseeing the effective implementation of the measures to protect Okwa Community and national interests.

“If immediate and deliberate actions are taken once and for all to ensure the security of Nigerians and their properties in the borderland, preserving the strength and integrity of our nation, our entire Eastern border will one day be adjusted to suit the Cameroon national interest,” Abang stated.

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