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How Yakubu Gowon Sold ‘Bakassi’ In Exchange For Beating Biafra

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Bakassi Peninsula was given away as a reward for Cameroon helping to obstruct Biafra during the civil war.

Yakubu Gowon

Yakubu Gowon

When Nigerian Government tried to claim it back, Cameroon threatened to expose so many things about Nigeria and the civil war. In addition, they reached out to France for military intervention if Nigeria tried to take it back by force.

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Bakassi Peninsula was sold by General Yakubu Gowon to Cameroon in 1968. Yes, Yakubu Gowon in August 1968, had been requested by Ahmadu Ahidjo, the then President of Cameroon to sell part of Nigeria, especially the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon as the condition for supporting Nigeria to win the civil war against Biafra. Recall that before then, Bakassi was used as the outlet to the Atlantic to bring in food to the Easterners. The then Finance Minister, the very Obafemi Awolowo had asked Gowon: how long do you continue to feed your enemies?

Rattled by the question, Gowon, Murtala Mohammed, Olusegun Obasanjo, Martin Adamu, Theophilus Danjuma, Hassan Katsina with the tacit approval of Sultan Mohammed II and Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano swung into action. Gowon wanting to score a point did not even discuss this with the then Supreme Military Council, though they quietly approved of it.

He contacted Alhamadu Ahidjo, and the Meeting was scheduled in Marua Town of Southern Cameroon in August 1968, that day Gowon, using stone, standing on Cameroon side “threw a stone” saying that wherever the stone landed should be given to Cameroun, west ward to the Peninsula. The stone landed at the very point of entry of the Peninsula called Reo Del Ree.

Hence, General Yakubu Gowon, on the advice of Obafemi Awolowo, used a stone to sell the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.

The rest is history.
Source: Africa Daily News


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