By Tikum Mbah Azonga
This is an editorial I wrote in Issue Number 051 of Business and Marketing, published in Bamenda, Republic of Cameroon. It was published as a follow-up to the visit Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo had just paid to Cameroon
Without any doubt, the visit Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo paid to Cameroon last month was by far the most significant international event that happened in Cameroon in that month. One reason is the weight of Nigeria on the African continent. Nigeria is black Africa`s most thickly populated country, having over one hundred million inhabitants. Furthermore, the large size of its economy also makes it an unmistakable giant. But perhaps above all is the importance of that country in relation to Cameroon. Although Cameroon shares a common border with six countries, Nigeria is the one with which it has the longest border. Significantly, the two countries share a common coastline , a semi-Saharan vegetation and desert type climates.
That is why the peaceful resolution of the border conflict between the two countries has received so much praise worldwide. Both presidents had the foresight to take the matter to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, instead of allowing the situation to degenerate into a war as has been the case in some other parts of Africa. The peaceful option is also just as well because each country has a fairly large number of its citizens living in the other country.
This was President Olusegun Obasanjo`s first official visit to Cameroon since he acceded to the helm of affairs in Nigeria. Of course, he did not hide his feelings and joy about it when he was in Cameroon. The trip gave him the opportunity to meet with some of his countrymen and women – an opportunity which he used to advise them to be law-abiding.
Although the Nigerian president has gone back, the positive echoes of his visit still remain to remind everyone that the initiative was worthwhile. The several working sessions that took place between delegations from the two countries will continue. The hope is that the brotherliness also goes on for a long time, if not for ever.