The discovery of oil deposits around the golf of Africa and in the Bakassi Peninsula led to series of claims and counter-claims of sovereignty over the peninsula. The heighten debate and bone of contention over the Bakassi Peninsular has evolve basically around the fact that each country wanted to own the richly endowed Bakassi peninsular so as to control the large mineral deposit in the area. The research tries to assess the causes and the role of natural resources in the conflict, the effects of the conflicts and the Green Tree Accord to the local residents of the peninsula. Hence, the bakassi dispute is within the
territorial waters of Nigeria and Cameroon, The Law of the Sea was imputed to proffer justice to the dispute. It is against this backdrop that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Judgment on the Bakassi peninsula is critically examined. Broadly, this research looked to examine the law governing the sea and the Nigerian-Cameroon Relations and to revisit the Bakassi Dispute. Specifically, the research examined the relationship between the discovery of natural resources particularly oil in the Bakassi Peninsula and
the worsening dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon. Using Qualitative data analysis, the study situated the problem between Nigeria and Cameroon to be the discovery of natural resources particularly oil in the Bakassi Peninsula. With the employment of the Theory of Economic Nationalism, it was assumed in the study that European imperialist activity in the last two centuries established borders in Africa, including our case study.
However, the basic element explaining conflicts over these borders today is nationalism, which is manifest in the form of a struggle for economic attainment and psychic aggrandizement, by nationals and their leadership. Nationalism provides a critical explanation for a frequent war stirrings emanating from borders that go beyond the defense of territorial integrity of states. Intensive research yielded archival data on colonial and post-colonial treaties and administrative reports, which were critically analyzed. Extent data were also obtained from libraries to compliment the archival and offered diverse collections of informed scholarly opinions on boundary and related issues. Analysis or data enabled us to arrive at our findings. The analysis of the data revealed that, Economic Nationalism inspired by the mineral and other natural endowments of the disputed area, is central to the dispute. Beside this, domestic political
forces in these countries and their colonial background synergized with the basic economic element to reinforce the conflict situation. The conflict was later referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2002, based on historical evidence (an agreement which was signed in 1913 between the Germans and the British concerning the border between Cameroon and Nigeria) the court took its decision on the matter in favored of Cameroon. However, because of the mixed filings with which the judgment was
received, we are yet to see the parties take full advantage of it to resolve the melee. This notwithstanding, we recommended greater functional integration of these countries and the West and Central African sub regions to strengthen peaceful coexistence between them. All African States should continue to encourage mutual respect for the boundaries and for the laws of each other’s countries so as to maintain good neighborliness. It is therefore hoped that the maturity and high level diplomacy exhibited by these
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