Seafarers, traders in Bakassi lament blockade of Cameroonian border
Traders, seafarers and marine workers who ply the Bakassi waters for their livelihoods have allegedly been blocked from entering Cameroon since last week.
Before the blockade, both Nigerians and other nationals regularly move palm oil, petroleum products, bags of rice effortlessly in and out of Cameroon using illegal means and routes.
Speaking with our reporter in Calabar, one of the traders said the Cameroonian forces blocked their own side of the border because they are hosting the African Cup of Nations football tournament coming up in January 2022.
Palm oil dealer and speed boat owner, Effiong James Akpan, a resident of Bakassi, said “Since last week, we have not been able to cross into Cameroon with our goods. They have also not allowed goods into our side.
“The security forces in Cameroon are very strict. They said they are stopping further infiltrations due to the upcoming continental football fiesta they are hosting in January next year.
“Many of us buy our bags of rice and palm oil from Cameroon. The security forces have refused to accept our usual ‘appreciations’ to them to pave way for evacuations of our goods into Nigerian markets through Bakassi.”
But on inquiry, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service in the state said they were not aware of such development.
Another official of the Nigerian Inland Waterways Agency in Calabar who did not want to be named said the matter would be investigated.
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