Is Nigeria Complicit in the Persecution of the Ambazonian People ?

In December 2013, a series of attacks by Boko Haram fighters using Cameroon as a staging ground and slipping back across the border into the safety of Cameroon.  In response the Nigerian government sent a formal request to the Cameroonian government to allow Nigerian forces go after Boko Haram on Cameroonian soil.

That request was firmly ejected.

The Nigerian government followed up the request by demanding Yaounde deploy forces to police the border to stop Boko Haram from using it as a staging base to carry out attacks on Nigeria.

Again that request was turned down.

On the 17th of January 2014 Nigerian army troops were in hot pursuit of Boko Haram fighters who raced for the Cameroonian border, to safety they hoped. This time Nigerian troops chased them right into Cameroonian territory and killed 60 of the insurgents. During the confrontation in the localitiesbof Bankili and Amchide in Cameroons northern province eight Nigerian soldiers and four civilians were also killed.

The Cameroonian government protested the incursion of Nigerian troops and deployed soldiers to the localities.

March 23, 2016.

Thirteen years after the ceding of the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun by the International Court of Justice, ICJ, at The Hague, Netherlands, the emboldened Cameroonian authorities have been preying on these hapless Nigerian communities in their quest for territorial expansion

In March 2016 Cameroon annexed 16 more Nigerian villages following the invasion of parts of Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State located within the mangrove island along the Nigeria/Cameroun maritime boundary.

October 2017

In October 17 2017 six residents of Danare community in Boki Local Government Area, Cross Rivers state, were shot by Cameroonian gendarmes from Bodam community during an invasion on the Nigerian territory by Cameroonians. The Cameroonians had encroached almost 43km into Nigerian territory before carrying out this premeditated attack.

December 2017

Again Cameroonian troops enter ino Nigeria, Zero warning, zero authorization.

January 31, 2018.

More than 80 Cameroonian soldiers, crossed the  international border between Nigeria and Cameroun and again invaded Danare in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State, claiming they were  fighting Cameroon militants who took refuge in the community.

These are the hallmarks of an autocratic state. A state that flouts international law and order with impunity. The president of the country, Paul Biya has been in power for 35 years and has turned his terribly underdeveloped country into a banana republic. He has ban he protests and curtailed freedom of speech. He has cut off internet services in the regions were massive protests have been made. He spends months abroad relaxing in luxury hotels while his country men struggle at home with hunger.

He is accountable to no one but humself and Paris. In the Anglophone northwest and southwest protests were staged for months by lecturers and lawyers demanding justice and equality after 30 years of horrendous marginalization by the French-speaking majority.

The 83-year-old autocrat responded by sending truckloads of soldiers to shoot at and suppress the protesters. Instead of the international community to call the despotic leader to order, they standby and watch the horrendous persecution of the English-speaking minority. It’s hard to believe that Cameroon is bordered by the fourth largest democracy in the world, Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Complicity ?

The Nigerian government has to be the joke of the century (and that is no hyperbole).

On January 7, the leader of the Separatist group-Julius Ayuk Tabe and six others were abducted from Nera Hotels where they were having a meeting to discuss challenges faced by over 10,000 Cameroonians who have sought political asylum in Nigeria, by Cameroonian gunmen in an “illegal abduction.” This is hard to stomach.  This happening just weeks after  Cameroonian troops crossed into Nigeria in pursuit of rebels without seeking Nigerian authorization, is truly stunning !!!

Those abducted were :

Those abducted with him were: Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor, Chairman of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), Dr. Fidelis Nde Che,
Dr. Henry Kimeng, Prof. Awasum, Dr. Cornelius Kwanga, Mr. Tassang Wilfred, Barrister Eyambe Elias, Dr. Ojong Okongho and Barrister Nalowa Bih.

These men in their struggle for equity and democracy sought asylum in the biggest democratic state in Africa. Hence the Nigerian government breached international treaties by for fully deporting the separatist leader and his supporters.

Just yesterday (March 23 2018), Cameroon’s former water and energy minister was arrested in Nigeria and flown to Cameroon.

Now, I agree criminals should not evade justice by passing unchallenged through inadequately regulated borders. But cooperation in extradition should rely upon adherence to a class of democratic and procedural norms and principles. This should entail the compliance with the rule of law and observance of human rights.

That is not the case here. Cameroon is an absolute autocracy, Nigeria is not. It is alarming that that Nigeria honours an extradition treaty with our autocratic geopolitical foe. Such an agreement runs the risk of making Anglophone Nigeria complicit in the worst aspects of Cameroons oppression of its Anglophone minority.

In conclusion, the Nigerian government’s eagerness to establish what it calls “consistent” relations with Cameroon, after their flagrant violation of Nigeria’s territory, killing of Nigerian civilians and clandestine ransom paid to Boko Haram in recent years, raises justifiable concern there is something else going on beneath the table here. Nigeria has been far too accommodating to Yaounde. There must be a catch somehow .







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