Executive-Legislative Relations in Nigeria’s Management of the Border Crisis between Nigeria and Cameroon: The Case of the ICJ Ruling on the Bakassi Peninsula
- Christopher Ngara
- Albert Sam-Tsokwa
AbstractThis paper examines Executive-Legislative relations in Nigeria’s management of the border crisis between Nigeria and Cameroon with special focus on the ICJ ruling on the Bakassi Peninsula. Using both primary and secondary data, the paper traced the root cause of the border dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon on the Bakassi Pennisula to colonial legacy of arbitrary boundary demarcation by erstwhile colonial powers, namely; Britain, Germany and France. The border crisis resulted in a protracted litigation and eventually culminated in the ICJ ruling which awarded the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon in 2002. The executive and the National Assembly which share constitutional responsibilities in external relations could not forge a common policy agenda on the matter. In many instance, both arms of government appeared confused and bereft of ideas to handle situation. The lack of consistent and coherent policy framework on the matter stemmed from inexperience and lack of political will on the part of the National Assembly as well as frequent conflict and mistrust between the two arms of government. Consequently, the Executive arm of government handed over the disputed territory to Cameroon without the approval of the National Assembly. The paper concludes that the Executive and the Legislature in Nigeria should see their roles in government as complimentary and always put national interest above other considerations.
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