By Jesse Konang (Published in Bakassi Peace Newsletter of November 2010)
The Federal Republic of Nigeria with an area of 923,768 square kilometres, 36 states, 774 local government councils, and 250 distinct languages is situated in West Africa. She is the most populous country in Africa and the World’s most populous Black nation with a population estimate of 140 million citizens (2006 census).
In Nigeria’s relationship with her neighbours, Cameroon, which borders her to the east, occupies a special position, according to the Consular Guide of the Consulate-General of Nigeria in Buea. This is especially so in view of the many years of verbal vituperation, military and legal manoeuvres over the ownership of the oil-rich land and sea reserves in the Bakassi area. The October 2002 International Court of Justice Decision facilitated the withdrawal of Nigeria from Bakassi on 14th August, 2008, through the instrumentality of the Nigeria-Cameroon Mixed Commission and the Greentree Accord.
In Cameroon, exists a Consul-General (since 1961) appointed by the Nigerian Government to safeguard Nigeria’s commercial and diplomatic interests as well as the welfare needs of her citizens living in the South West and North West Regions of Cameroon. From 1961 to 1968, the mission operated, simply, as a Consulate, headed by a Consul beginning with A.H. Ikwang (1961-1963) followed by S.T. King (1963-1965), R. Adibua (1965-1966), and Umaru Abdulla (1966-1968). In 1968, the Consulate was upgraded to the status of Consulate-General with K.J.N. Okpokam as the first Nigerian to be appointed in that capacity.
After the upgradation, Dr. Kenneth Nsor Nsor, 49, happens to be the 18th Consul-General of Nigeria to Cameroon, appointed in 2007. Summed up, he constitutes the 22nd consular emissary of Nigeria with jurisdiction over the two Anglophone sections (SW and NW Regions) of Cameroon. As Consul-General, he has been a principal actor in the events leading up to the handover of Bakassi to Cameroon as well as a key player in Bakassi in the areas of building post-conflict diplomatic bridges, positively bringing people together and giving them good food for thought.
After Bakassi’s retrocession to Cameroon, a new cordial spirit is embracing the Nigeria-Cameroon relations, as portrayed by Dr. Nsor. For purposes of expatiation, the Bakassi Peace Letter Editor, Jesse Konang, decided to meet him in his cosy consular office, near GRA Buea, for the following interview.