The modern independent state of Cameroon was formed in 1961 when the southern part of the British Cameroons united with the Republic of Cameroon, which had succeeded the French colony of Cameroun in 1960.

The Bakossi people were opposed to the union, and the Mwane-Ngoe Union of the Bakossi asked the United Nations to respect their wish to avoid the conflict in Cameroun and instead let them join Nigeria. At first the Southern Cameroons retained a degree of independence in a federation between two states.

Full unification was resisted by the people of Southern Cameroons since they had a more democratic society than prevailed in the rest of the country under the regime of Ahmadou Ahidjo. In 1963, the Bangem District was created covering the land occupied by the Bakossi people.

Bangem District was split into Northern and Southern districts in 1968, and, in 1977, the Bakossi Council was also split into Northern and Southern councils.

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