Where Nigeria, Cameroon border is knotted in marriages

Mfum is a city in the state of the Cross River, where it is often possible to find traders and articulated trucks crossing the lines separating Nigeria and Cameroon. Such items as food, fruit and gasoline are transferred across the border. But these are not the only things that were exchanged between the two countries, since it was possible to add marriage links to this list.

"In this city Mfum and even in the next major city of Ayassore near Ikoma in the central state of the Cross River, marriages between Nigerians and Cameroons were concluded," said Miss Adam.

Shanti is a 37-year-old Cameroon, who has been occupied by Nigerian men for the past five years. According to her, she is one of many cross-border married couples, since marriages in marriage were for a long time in this community.

A native of Bamenda, Cameroon, Shanthi came to Mfum for trade and some profit. Instead, she found love. Many women from Cameroon, according to her, are dying to marry Nigerian men.

She said that interest in Nigerian men is not a recent phenomenon, but the fact that they are rooted in them. She said that this is so, because they see Nigerian men not only very tense, but also creatively and wary.

Seeking to marry his fiancé for five years, Shanti does not see any cultural obstacles to the wedding, as the traditions outside the borders are almost identical.

"A potential groom or husband will have to approach a woman's family and get a list of the items needed for a traditional marriage," she said. "When the marriage is sealed, the offspring of him will be Nigerian. This is the same if a Cameroonian man marries a Nigerian woman, the offspring will be called Cameroonians. "

One Nigerian person who believes that he knows the cause of interest in Cameroonian women is Mr. Enagu Ojiang, chairman of the committee of the target group of the Nigerian Vegetables Buyers' Association on the border of Nigeria and Cameroon. The Association regulates the import of fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes, from Cameroon.

"They believe that in our country there is a good life, peace and great opportunities," he said. "Therefore, their women are mostly persecuting our people. Their people too. Of course, you can trust, our people also found love from Cameroon. "

Recognizing that this is not a new trend, Ojiang said that there are mutual benefits in such alliances.

"In any case, this is indeed a Cameroonian woman. They want to come to Nigeria, "he said. Regarding the advantages of the Nigerian side, he said: "Our boys will take advantage of this because they will use Cameroonian women to import much needed goods like fruits and vegetables from Cameroon."

He also believes that the unrest in South Cameroon, where the separatist campaign is taking place, could help increase the number of people wishing to marry in Nigeria.

But Shanti insists that this interest caused a crisis.

Ojiang admitted that it is possible.

"In the community of Ayasor near Ikoma or this border community of Mfum, if you can check, there are many Cameroons who have long been integrated," he said.

Bishop Ndoma Nyambi, a civil engineer by profession and chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in Ikom LGA, said that since then most of the Cameroonians settled and became Nigerians.

He said that many of them were independent and received certificates of citizenship with concomitant benefits.

Nyambi, who recently resigned from the Ministry of Labor of the State of the Cross River, said that it can be very difficult to find them, because they are also linguistically connected, because they freely speak Edzhagem, a common language in many border cities.

"They know the whole history and customs of their host communities and freely speak local dialects. Many of them have since been indigenized and tuned to our system. The only way you can choose them is when they start to speak French, otherwise it's hard to tell, "he said.

"I agree that there were many marriages between many border communities in Nigeria and Cameroon. I think this is beneficial to both countries. There is still no international law prohibiting such a marriage. It was through these marriages that the Cameroonians flooded our cities. Ike to Cameroon is only 27 kilometers by car. Such cities as Kalime (formerly Lasmeto), Ajassor in Etung LGA benefit from these marriages, "he said.

He points to recent developments in this area, such as the construction of an expansive international border market, the construction of an international road, promoted by the World Bank, the avalanche of new residential complexes by individuals as some of the things that could induce the increased interest of Cameroonian women in seeking love across the border .

This is facilitated by the growing border trade of cocoa, plantain, banana, pit, cassava and palm fruits, which brought people across the border into close contact.

The volume of trade between the two countries is high. For example, a truck of tomatoes from Cameroon, arriving in Nigeria, costs more than N3 million.

"During the so-called deep season, from June to July, over 40 trucks cross the border across the border. That's about N120 million. Today, as of June 12, only 8 trucks with tomatoes have so far crossed the border of Cameroon to Nigeria, "he said.

His union, he said, helps in the inspection of contraband, and a similar outfit in Cameroon is also doing its job.

"The way our union operates can not be possible for smugglers across this border or other routes. I can assure that only our members of the trade union are involved in this cross-border trade. Even in Cameroon they have a similar union that regulates and guarantees that only their registered members produce and supply tomatoes. They are licensed by the authorities of Cameroon for the export of tomatoes. We also have a license to import tomatoes from Cameroon to Nigeria. We even have a memorandum of understanding between the two unions. "

But what is the current political tension in connection with the ongoing agitation in the Ambazonia Republic in Cameroon affecting the trade in tomatoes at the crossroads?

"Amazonian boys usually bother us and block roads so that our trucks can not pass. We usually discussed and bribed them with money and baskets with tomatoes. Two weeks ago, for three days, they blocked the roads, and this was the reason that the tomatoes in Nigeria were scarce. Now they warned that Monday was announced as the day of the movement. And this will greatly influence the supply of tomatoes in Nigeria, "he said.

Although this is sad news for trade, there is optimism for amateurs, since love is not a commodity on the contraband list, the chances that marriage unions are forged across the border remain extremely high.

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