In August 1946, DAVID ENDELEY, Honorary Secretary of the Bakweri Land Committee addressed two petitions to the British on behalf of the BLC. The first one was addressed to the Chief Secretary of the Eastern Province of Nigeria, and demanded that the plantation land be returned to the natives, together with a financial compensation commensurate to the years of exploitation of Bakweri lands. The second petition, cosigned by 25 prominent Bakweris, was addressed to the British Secretary of State for Colonies, Arthur Creech Jones, who received the letter about a year later, long after the CDC had been formed and gone operational.
Here is the petition which gave an exhaustive analysis of the havoc that plantation agriculture had wreaked:
"We the undersigned for and behalf of the entire populace of the Bakweri people, i.e.,including the sub-tribes of Bota and Bimbia of Victoria Division in the Cameroons under British Mandate (for which the Committee known as the Bakweri Land Committee stands) humbly bring forward a case which has been long-lying and overlooking of which has perpetrated very unbearable economic deprivation."
A similar petition dated 7th August this year was sent to the Chief Commissioner when he had an interview with the Clan here. In reply to the petition which was referred to in the agenda he said that when he was here as Divisional officer he had not got such a complaint for land, and, therefore was at a loss to see why it should arise now. He further promised sending out a surveyor to see whether any increase in land was necessary and whether the indigenous native population had increased.
In our petition to the Chief Commissioner we gave figures which were from a certain book published in Berlin in 1911, but as we intend to make our case up to date we have now quoted figures as can be obtained from the Cameroons Plantation Head Office, Buea. Other particulars have been given fuller detail, thus bringing in some little differences.
This reply given by the Chief Commissioner has caused great unrest among all the people, as they were not asking for increase, but for the return of the whole land. It is therefore their/our desire that this case be brought to you and copy passed to the Permanent Mandate Committee of the League of Nations or any other “body” that has something to do with matters concerning Mandates for treatment. After all, we wonder if the case of population arises – we all know that even three people can own an estate equal to our whole area which is about 580 square miles.