Minister Issa Tchiroma Dismisses Claims That Cameroonian Army Killed 97 Nigerian Fishermen In Bakassi, Saying No One Died, And That The Nigerians Started The Fight
Cameroon has denied allegations that its army killed 97 Nigerian fishermen at the Bakassi disputed area.
Reacting to these allegations two weeks after the news went viral on social Media and when the international committee was already raising eyebrows, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Minister of Communication, mouth piece and government spokesman in a Press Release of yesterday Wednesday July 19, revealed that it was the Nigerians who attacked the Cameroonians.
The Press Release narrates what transpired on the night of July 3, 2017 as such:
'On the night of Monday July 3 2017, municipal authorities of Idabato launched an operation for tax recovery in that locality. This operation met with resistance and hostility from some Nigerians, who claimed they were on the Nigerian territory, and would not pay taxes to the Cameroonian authorities. The Nigerians went wild, brutalized members of the recovery commission sent on the field for the operation, and threatened to destroy public and private properties during the protest. Meanwhile some of them, with the help of the Nigerian media engaged in a media campaign accusing the Cameroon government of committing atrocities against them'.
'The Nigerian Media reported something totally different from the reality that happened last week, and it is based on this that the Cameroon government is refuting such false and baseless allegations'.
Minister Tchiroma's Press Release that was read over the National Radio added that 'Cameroonian authorities did not violently retaliate the attack from the Nigerians of Idabato, even when they themselves went really violent and refused to comply with public authorities'. Tchiroma describes the information from the Nigerian media as 'a trick to mask the truth from the reality, and a general malicious intention to misinform the people'.
The Minister equally reminded that 'all Nigerians living in Cameroon are subjected to strict compliance with the relevant legal dispositions relating to their stay, or in the exercising of their businesses all over Cameroon'.
The five years period of tax exemptions for Nigerians in the Bakassi area according to the Green Tree Agreement of 2005, has expired and out of goodwill, the Cameroon government extended another two years of grace to its Nigerian brothers, and this two years of grace has expired as well, compelling the Nigerians to henceforth comply with the rules and regulations government commercial activities on the Cameroonian territory.