In a move observers believe might have been sanctioned by the Federal Government, Cameroonian security agents on Friday stormed a meeting of the self-styled Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia arresting its ‘President’, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, and eight other activists demanding self-rule for the English-speaking Southern Cameroons.
A statement by Ambazonia’s Secretary of Communications and IT, Chris Anu, described the action as criminal and demanded the immediate release of the abducted activists, saying their meeting was about the refugee crisis brought about by the iron-fisted response to demands for self-determination by the French speaking Cameroonian government.
The statement reads, “The Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia (https://Ambagov.org) strongly condemns the abduction of President Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and nine other officials by gunmen from la Republic du Cameroun at about 19:30 pm in Nera Hotels, (Ekwueme Road), Abuja Nigeria on January 5, 2018. This criminal abduction happened during a meeting being chaired by H.E. Sisiku Ayuk Tabe.
“Those arrested along with the President H.E. Sisiku Ayuk Tabe include:
Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor, Chairman of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC)
Dr. Fidelis Nde Che,
Dr. Henry Kimeng
Dr. Cornelius Kwanga
Mr. Tassang Wilfred
Barrister Eyambe Elias
Dr. Ojong Okongho and
Barrister Nalowa Bih.
“The President and his team were in a High Command meeting in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria at the time the Cameroun Gunmen showed up at the Hotel. The meeting started at around 5pm, Nigerian time. At around 7:30PM, the gunmen came into the Hotel and abducted all of them including the President.
“The meeting was scheduled to discuss the Southern Cameroons Refugee crisis in Nigeria and to galvanize relief support for housing, medical and feeding in anticipation of the approaching rainy season.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria has been notified of the incident and it is currently investigating the situation. The Interim Government of the Southern Cameroons calls on all Southern Cameroonians to remain calm as it pursues investigations.
“Southern Cameroonians continue to be victims of extra judicial killings orchestrated by President Paul Biya and his henchmen. President Paul Biya and his henchmen must know that Southern Cameroonians will continue to assert their right to self-determination and will hold Paul Biya to account on all the killings of Southern Cameroonians.
“We call on Nigerian authorities to address this issue immediately and ensure that the Cameroun Government does not do any harm to them. We also call on the Nigerian authorities to investigate this threat against its sovereignty by La Republique du Cameroun. We call on the Nigerian government to guarantee the security of the more than 20,000 Southern Cameroonian refugees in various camps in Nigeria.”
An Abuja-based security expert, who spoke with Uhuru Times on the condition of anonymity, believe the Cameroonian government could not have taken the action without the active support and approval of the Nigerian government. He said, “That could not have happened without a go ahead from Nigeria, because they were arrested on a sovereign territory. The Nigerian government would have assisted Cameroon to monitor their activities and also provide them with intelligence support. Don’t forget that Cameroon is also assisting Nigeria on Boko Haram. It could be a way of saying that if you rub my back, I’ll rub yours. It is allowed, in fact, that is the usual practice in international relations. It could not have happened without active support from Nigeria.”