The Minister of External relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella has written to his counterpart in charge of territorial administration (Minat) to sound the alarm.
The action taken by Divisional Officer of Mouanko against Nigerian fishermen violates labour law. It is likely to reignite relations between Cameroon and Nigeria, which have been troubled in the past. The decision can also lead to a diplomatic incident. This was the message sent by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lejeune Mbella Mbella, to the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji.
He urged the latter to call to order the administrative authority of Mouanko, a sub-division in the Sanaga Maritime division in the Littoral region. Roland Ngah Koa took a decision to suspend Nigerian nationals from all fishing activities in the unit of which he was in command. The administrative authority’s decision is based on the boycott of “establishments linked to the preparations for the 20 May and 26 and 27 May 2023 public holidays in Mouanko”.
For the Minister of Foreign Affairs, apart from the fact that this decision violates labour law and could lead to a diplomatic incident, it has been taken at the wrong time: “on the eve of the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the return of the Bakassi Peninsula” to Cameroon by Nigeria.
According to Minrex, “the echo of such a decision would not fail to arouse speculation as to the treatment that will be reserved for the Nigerian community living in Cameroon”. Lejeune Mbella Mbella therefore calls on the Minat to take steps to “preserve social cohesion and harmony within this administrative unit”.