– Call for Immediate Release of their leaders
Members of the Southern Cameroon have accused the Nigerian government through the office of the National Security Adviser of abducting the President of its interim government including eleven other members of his cabinet.
The accusation, made by the Southern Cameroonian Secretary of Communication Chris Anu said the abductees who are mostly resident in Nigeria were abducted from their hotel in Nera hotel, located in Jabi Abuja, in a stint operation led by a Major Usman.
According to him ” They were abducted at gunpoint by heavily armed men of the Nigerian National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on January 5th and taken to unknown destinations which uptil today still remains a secret.”
“They were picked up precisely from Nera Hotel here in Abuja where they were holding a planning meeting on accommodation and feeding for the increasing number of Southern Cameroons refugees who are here in Nigeria. ”
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, Mr Anu said the Press conference was organised to address the clandestine abduction of the President of the Southern Cameroons Interim Gov’t, Sisikou Julius Ayuk Tabe, plus 11 other leaders of the Interim Government who were abducted along with him”
The Communications Secretary said the abductees are officially registered with the Nigerian Refugee Commission and the UNHCR. The few among them who are not refugees all have duly accredited papers to live and work in Nigeria.
He named the abductees to include Sisikou AyukTabe Julius, Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor,Dr. Fidelis Nde Che, Dr. Henry Kimeng, Prof. Augustine Awasum, Dr. Cornelius Kwanga 7) Barrister Nalowa Bih, Barrister Eyambe Elias, Mr. Tassang Wilfred 10) Dr. Ojong Okongho 11) Dr. Ogork Ntui and Barrister Shufai Blaise Berinyuy
Mr Anu lamented “The reckless and utter violation of the fundamental human rights of the abductees by virtue of their being kept incommunicado and denied access to Lawyers and family members by the government of Nigeria.
He lamented that “Worse still, for the over two weeks of abduction, the Nigerian Government hasn’t as much as made a single statement on their whereabouts and the reason(s) for the abduction”
He said the second reason is also to address the erroneous narrative in the media to the effect that Southern Cameroonians are fighting to secede or that we are separatists.
“Nothing could be father from the truth. Again. He said as he asserted that ” I am not a Cameroonian, I am Ambazonian. And if you like, call it the former British Southern Cameroons.
And this is also to say that our leaders who are under illegal custody by the Nigerian Gov’t are neither Cameroonian citizens too. They are Ambazonians, they are Southern Cameroonians.
Statistics show that there are close to 40,000 Southern Cameroons Refugees in Nigeria, spread across Cross River State, Akwa Ibom State and Tariba state, out of which we know that the UNHCR has only been able to officially register about 10000. This was the reason for the meeting they were holding when they were picked up. It is important to note here that of the 12 being illegally held by the Nigerian gov’t, about 90% of them are refugees too.
Since abduction, the Nigerian government has continued to act as a banana republic, with utter disregard to it’s own civil laws via-a-vis respect for human rights. All those abducted have families and all of those families live here in Nigeria. Imagine the traumatic circumstances under which these families have been subjected to for the past two weeks they have not seen nor have an idea of the whereabouts of their parents and loved ones. And in spite of all the appeals for family and Lawyers’ access to them, the Nigerian Gov’t has continued to deny them that basic right.
Mr Anu called on the Nigerian government to explain to Southern Cameroonians why their President and their leaders are under lock and key, to also step out and tell the world, what crime or crimes they committed? And also charged the governments to let the abductees see their families and have access to their lawyers
“Above all, if the Nigerian Gov’t will neither press any charges against them, nor say anything about their incarceration, then they ought to be freed and allowed home to be with their families. What the Nigerian Gov’t has done is total a bridge of their human rights and Nigeria is a signatory to international conventions on Peoples and Human rights”.
The Communications Secretary in his capacity said “Today, on behalf of the Interim government of Ambazonia, I’m making a very strong appeal to the government of President Buhari to Let our people go, please set them free, they did not commit any crime and have not been accused of any. It’s a disservice to their wives and children to keep them under lock and key as if they are some terrible criminals.
He further alleged that “in the last few days we have heard some allegations to the effect that the Nigerian Gov’t joined by some international bodies are holding them to some kind of talks before they are released. We of the Southern Cameroons Interim government hope that this allegation is not true because any form of agreement forced upon them while they remain incommunicado will never ever be binding on the people and nation of Ambazonia”