Monday, October 13, 2008

Against compromise diplomacy

At the dawn of the 21st century the Nigerian foreign policy must take turning point for the betterment of its expanding graving population living within and out of the auspices of its territorial margin.

In as much as Nigeria and Cameroon exhibit firm diplomatic ties over four protracted decades as well as cultural links, this does not mean that the Nigerian foreign policy should be too relaxed to its famous eastern neighbour.

The reasons for a tit for tat foreign policy are not so far-fetched. It is a truism that over seventy percent of Nigerians living in Cameroon were born and bred in the country in question. These Nigerians are subjected to human rights abuse. They are liable to pay huge sums of money as resident permit to Cameroon.

Even some as young as fourteen years of age are exposed to this ‘indemnity’ despite the unpleasant economic hardship playing the nation. The resident permit has not been used only as a source of income, but as an alternative to eject Nigerians from the country.
Moreover, their policy has made it extremely difficult for diplomatic mission to yield any meaningful dividend. This is attributed to the fact that any report filed by the diplomatic mission must pass through the Ministry of External Relations. This is a trick to slow down action.

It is not in doubt that the Cameroon government has done little to guarantee of these Nigerians. Morestill, Nigerians who are born and bred in Cameroon are totally excluded in the job market. They are not allowed to enroll into professional institutions as well.

This unwelcome attitude has being carried over from generation to generation. Moreover, the judicial system has never worked for fair and impartial justice for Nigerians inclusive striking examples include Damion Madu, Peter O. Ebenezer all based in Cameroon.

Furthermore, the traders too are subjected to harsh and uncompromising treatments by Cameroon officials. Traders are liable to pay excess taxes. Meanwhile their Cameroonian counterparts are exempted from the exercise. The aim is to oust Nigerians from business. Besides the above, no Nigerian is allowed to drive a business vehicle or passenger cars. This has made life very uncomfortable to number of Nigerians.

This explains why each year, thousands of Nigerians are bound to return home under poverish condition. Hence, adding more salt to the injury on the economy. The government of Cameroon has made life very uncomfortable to bona-fide Nigerian fishermen who are liable to pay the sum of N750,000 naira as tax on annual basis. The aim is to eject them from the exercise.