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Nigeria denies Cameroon separatists’ claim that leaders were arrested

Deutsche Welle | Cameroonian anglophone separatists have claimed that their leaders were abducted in Abuja by what they believe to be Nigeria’s intelligence agency. Nigerian officials have denied the allegations.

“At around 7:30 p.m., the gunmen came into the hotel and abducted all of them, including the president,” said Chris Anu, secretary of communications for what Cameroon’s English-speaking separatists have named the “state of Ambazonia.” The separatist leader and six others were said to have been taken away during a meeting at the Neras Hotel in Abuja on Friday, January 5, 2018.

While the separatists and a number of local media outlets have claimed that the Nigerian intelligence agency (Department of State Services or DSS) is behind the disappearance, both Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities have refused to comment on the matter.

“There is no arrest of their people in Abuja,” a Nigerian intelligence official told the news agency AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official admitted that Nigeria had arrested Cameroonians in late December in the Taraba region which borders Cameroon.

“We saw most of them as refugees but when the Cameroonian authorities heard of the arrest, they protested to the inspector general of police that those people arrested were part of the people giving them trouble as secessionists,” the official told AFP.

The UNHCR reported that it has registered over 7,000 Camerooniansfrom the Anglophone regions, who have fled the country into Nigeria. This has strained diplomatic ties between the two neighbors. Last month, Cameroonian troops crossed the border in pursuit of the separatists without seeking prior permission from Nigerian authorities. Nigerian High Commissioner to Cameroon, Lawan Abba Gashagar, however, met Cameroon’s President Paul Biya and the two said that they would collaborate in fighting armed groups.

Origins of the crisis

The unrest in Cameroon began in November 2016, when English-speaking teachers and lawyers in the Northwest and Southwest regions took to the streets, calling for reforms and greater autonomy. They were frustrated with the dominance of the French language in official matters and with what they saw as the marginalization of Cameroon’s Anglophone population.

The protests were followed by a harsh government crackdown, as well as internet shut-downs and arrests.

In October 2017, secessionist groups declared the independence of the so-called Anglophone “state” of Ambazonia. International rights groups say that between 20 and 40 people were killed in clashes since late September. According to Amnesty International, at least 500 people were detained in the aftermath of the announcement.

In Cameroon’s English-speaking regions, there is mixed support for the separatists and their activities. Evaristus Njie, a businessman in the south-western capital Buea, told DW that he supported the separatists because he believed that English speaking Cameroonians were being marginalized.

He would, however, like to see Cameroon become a federal republic. “The government has claimed that they are dialoguing with them. But how can they claim that they are talking with them for peace to return, while at the same time they arrest them? It is not good,” he said.

Emmanuel Wiysahnyuy, a student, said that he supported the government in its actions. “The government is doing everything possible to arrest them so that peace can return,” he said.

Low school attendance

On Monday, January 8 government schools resumed after the Christmas holidays and while some children returned to class, others failed to turn up.

Ayamba Ita, chief of Eyumojock commune in south-western Cameroon, told DW that many children and their parents had fled to Nigeria. Others might have heeded the call by the separatists to boycott the schools. Ita said he hoped that a dialogue between the government and the separatists would help solve the crisis. “When I hear dialogue,” he said, “I feel confident that it will give me an opportunity to have my children who are across the border as refugees for a safe return.”

Moki Kindzeka contributed to this report.

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  1. **** THE TRTH IS BITTER ****

    Le politologue Njoya Moussa sur l’arrestation d’Ayuk Tabe: «Même si vous arrêtez tous les leaders, cela ne changera rien»

    • @Mvomeka
      Why would presidential candidate fly to Abuja through Some to contact Seseku Julius Ayuk Tabe? And who underwrites a flight in a private jet? Why the sudden buzz between Yaounde and Abuja?

  2. A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has called on the Federal Government to immediately release the seven Cameroonian separatists that were arrested by the Department of State Services in Abuja on Saturday.

    Falana said in a statement that the arrested freedom fighters — Mr. Sikiku Tabe, Prof. Che Awasum, Mr. Nalowa Bih, Dr. Fidelis Che, Dr. Nfor Nfor, Dr. Henri Kumeng and Dr. Cornelius Kwanga — who are calling for the secession of the Southern region of cameroon, entered Nigeria legally and thus should not be treated as criminals.

    He said the agitators, who are calling for the creation of the independent state of Ambazonia, had been held incommunicado and denied access to their lawyers, doctors and relatives contrary to the provisions of the United Nations Minimum Standards for the

    • for the Treatment of Prisoners.

      Falana said, “Since the Cameroonians entered Nigeria legitimately their arrest and detention by the Federal Government cannot be justified under the law. As Africans, the detainees are entitled to human rights to personal liberty, freedom of association and freedom of expression guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution.

      “Furthermore, their unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination is protected by article 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which has been ratified by both Nigeria and cameroon.”

      The human rights lawyer urged the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), not to extradite the agitators as Nigeria had no extradition treaty with cameroon.

      He further advised the Federal Government to consid

      • Federal Government to consider the safety of Nigerians in Bakassi who might suffer attacks from supporters of the arrested freedom fighters.

        Falana said, “Having failed to crush the ideas which recently led to the demand for the state of Biafra by the members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, the Federal Government should not attempt to provoke the marginalised people of Southern cameroon by frustrating their legitimate demand for an independent state of Ambazonia.

        “Since the Federal Government has not succeeded in completely defeating the dreaded Boko Haram sect it should not declare war on the people of Southern cameroon and thereby further expose the displaced people of Bakassi to reprisal.

        “We are therefore compelled to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate re

        • compelled to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate release of the detained Cameroonian freedom fighters without any further delay. Since Nigeria has no extradition treaty with cameroon, the Attorney General of the Federation lacks the vires to initiate extradition proceedings under the Extradition Act (E25) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 for the extradition of the detained Cameroonian freedom fighters.”
          Falana added that although the Federal Government was under pressure from President Paul Biya of cameroon to hand over the detainees to the security forces in cameroon, it must be realised that the detainees were entitled to reside or visit Nigeria without any molestation.

  3. Nigeria’s DSS ‘arrests Cameroon separatist leader’

    Sisiku Ayuk Tabe had been based in Nigeria for some time before his arrest
    The leader of Cameroon’s separatist movement has been arrested by Nigeria’s intelligence agency, a government source has told the BBC.

    Sisiku Ayuk Tabe was arrested on Friday in Abuja for engaging in a clandestine meeting against Cameroonian authorities, the source said.

    Officially, the Department for State Service has denied making the arrest.

    His movement of English-speaking campaigners wants to separate from the French-speaking majority.

  4. Mr Tabe was taken from an unnamed hotel around 19:00 by a group of at least 15 armed men in military gear, an eyewitness told the BBC.

    His group, the Governing Council of Ambazonia, released a statement demanding the release of their leader who had been based in Nigeria.

    Nigerian human rights lawyer Femi Falana also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order their release and warned that their arrest is illegal, according to Nigerian newspaper the Daily Post.

    “Their unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination is protected by Article 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which has been ratified by both Nigeria and Cameroon,” he is quoted as saying.

    Cameroon’s English-speakers say they have been marginalised for decades by the central government and the

  5. the French-speaking majority.

    In October 2017, the English-speaking group declared autonomy over the two English-speaking regions – a move rejected by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya.
    Clashes between the government and supporters of the separatist group followed.

    Dozens of people have been killed, including police officers.

    The leaders of the separatists fled to neighbouring countries, including Nigeria, since the government clamped down on their campaigns.

    Over 40,000 people from the English-speaking region have fled to Nigeria since October, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

    • [email protected] sir ,ive only found quotes that 40.000 are EXPECTED which thus gives nilch indication of the actual amount of people and its pretty weird that they can pre-estimate a number without giving a reason for this assumption since Cameroon usually has to recive refugees rather than ever produce them .

      • Amount of people – NO!!!!!
        Number of people – YES !!!

        • Rains onto others

          Hahaha John dinga while going through the comments we are equally taking some English lessons

        • Sir, I always admire ur mature contributions however when u start stooping low as to correct every and any grammatical or typo error of other contributors it makes me think u are narrow minded. Do you know there are people on this forum whose first language is not English? Just understand what they are trying to communicate and move on. I for one don’t have the time to proof-read when I type. It’s not a thesis…

  6. Nigeria`s gov`t. should reason and think twice and early enough. It shouldn`t try
    to please a dictator and displease millions.
    This is a fragile situation and Nigeria knows it too well, that when things fall apart,
    the center will hardly hold.
    Those days of only Biafra, are long gone. Then, there was no social media etc.
    It was BH and Delta state. When it grows to include Ambazonia etc. the history
    will be complicated.

    • Nigeria is playing smart backing up LRC. To back up secessionist will embolden bianfrais to do the same. War against BH wouldn’t have been won if there were no cooperation between the two States.
      Ayuk and his gang are being pressured by the International community to give up the fight. If they don’t give up they will be held accountable for giving order to kill LRC policemen and will face ICI. You will soon see members of the interim government resigning one by one.

      • Let Nigeria, continue to act smart and back lrc.
        BH, is not yet gone, so you may know.
        It is not Ayuk and his gang like you contend, who have this fight. It is
        a people`s fight and it can grow wild, like the California wild fires, engulfing
        humans, houses etc etc.
        Even the international community as you say it, are missing the point.

        • So if you think you can secede on your own, just bcoz of the people wishes, with no International backing, you are naive. No one gives a F..ck about us African. We will kill each other until we have enough and decide to sit and talk. How many people died in Soudan before they secede? Is South Sudan better off now that they seceded? Brother with no International backing we are self destructing.

        • Yes and we will fail because we don`t have a big brother. It happened
          to Gadhaffi. Asad is still president today, because of big brother factor.
          After Madam Scotland`s departure, we are seeing the true side of our
          English master. What a coincidence.

  7. Conduct a Referendum! In 1960, 60% voted for independence by joining French-speaking Cameroun. What is the situation now? Why is Cameroun resisting a referendum?

  8. Like confetti news is flying left and right. This is good and it is also bad because there will be quite some fakes intended to increase traffic flow and make more money (this is information technology century and Nigeria has a free press).

    A few days ago I alerted and got well insulted by those brought up under the overpowering dominance of the state, that a consumer has a duty to be skeptical and to cross-check with other sources for confirmation. No use to get sucked

    A typical example of fake news that got people into a state of cachexia was the report that Julius Ayuk Tabe and his staff were abducted by armed persons from Cameroon. An inquiring mind would want to know how foreign forces could enter and operate in Nigeria without the latter’s approval. Too good to be true!

  9. We are all living the evils of “might makes right” mentality where a small problem is allowed to degenerate into a mighty catastrophe bringing life to a halt for a people. Another scenario is Isidore Modjo whose one-man sit-in is slowly enlarging into something larger and ominous – a crime. Here’s someone begging to be paid for his lyrics used by CRTV to open and close its programs. Years ago P. M. Philemon Yang ordered the payment but in a system where subordinates bypass the boss to deal directly with the top, DG Charles Ndongo and Information Minister/Chairman of CRTV Issa Tchiroma apparently snubbed the PM.

    Isidore Modjo has now been dragged to court for “trouble a l’ordre public” the fantastic weapon DOs use to muzzle political parties and all dissent. Modjo is now faces criminal

  10. Biya’s gov’t is presently negotiating in hiding without media coverage.Pride go kill Biya.HE Sesekou Ayuk Tabe have said that the Interim Government connot decide for the people,and is asking for a referendum to be conducted in Ambasonia.

  11. You guys are getting a lesson of the true nature international relations!!! The level of naivete of these so called leaders is apalling. You all should focus on facebook propagandas and stop ruining the lives of people already suffering. All you facebook revolutionaries need to write this down: INTERESTS RULE INTERNATIONAL POLITICS!!!… You spend your time parading academic titles (some of them even bought), with little or no substance to offer. What happened to all the promises??? Tomorrow these leaders may be released and you will start singing songs of victory smh!!!! But the message has been sent and I hope you all received it: NIGERIA WILL NOT BE PART OF THIS YOUR FANTASY NATION!!! Time to accept reality and face the problems we have as they are supposed to be faced. GO REGISTER TO V

  12. GO REGISTER TO VOTE!!!! AND VOTE ANYTHING ELSE BUT CPDM. You can insult me all you want. But the reality is come 2019, Cameroon (with NW and SW included) will have newly ELECTED administrators. And those administrators will be responsible for what happens in your future! You can choose to keep calling Sisiku your president and pay taxes to Ekema!! OR YOU CAN FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIVES BE WISE AND TAKE YOUR POLITICAL FUTURE IN YOUR OWN ARMS!

    • Africans For Donald Trump


      Teach them!! Teach them! Teach them!

      “You can chose to keep calling sickseku your leader and pay taxes to Ekema”. Brilliant statement that exposes the stupidity and naivety of the ambazombies!

      • [email protected] This is a fact indeed that until the elections there are people in regional administative posts until then on a goverment payroll of the citizens taxes specifically in these areas ..
        Which ones with authority in thse areas do you consider worthy because of past posative actions ,of reelection again and which ones are not ? Tell us please who you do consider posatively and their polices ,as alternatives to the ones you dont like if you dont mind

  13. Concerning the arrest of our leaders, for the moment we have raised the sum of $200.000 a reward for Governors of North West Region and South West Region, the Nigerian representative of Anglophone Region and any of the SDO’S alive or death. Ambazonia For this reward is for guys.
    So if Nigeria failed to release them within the next 72 hours, action should take place.

    • I hope say you dey talk so from war front. What is stopping you from personnaly collecting that reward?Another internet Rambo. If everyone of you guys writing on the internet were to carry action on the ground, then Cameroon would be in complete chaos. Fortunatly, most of you guys are just ramblers and noise makers.

      • Even the ambazonian VP is not courageous enough to show his face… What a pity!

        • Your inability to understand strategic approach boils down to your personal mental limitations. Every Ambazonian has a role to play be it online, or in ground zero.

          The president of IG is today in custody of unknown players but I am sure you are one of those who questioned his commitment to the cause because he was not present in Ambazonia.

          Anyone with a single brain cell understands that taking a stand against Biya while based in Ambazonia is possibly a loosing strategy so it is best for leaders to act from proxy locations. Some would rather they stay in Cameroun so Biya can kill them as is customary.

          Well, that will not happen so get over it. Leave our internet rambos alone. We’ll fight for our freedom anyway we see fit – thanks, but no thanks.

        • [email protected] as Kirikou rightly mentions …voteing is an action.Unforunately looking on the internet to try to sum up weather anybody in the public eye ,is worth a vote has been of limited results and thats including comments about them overall here .
          Have any of these gentlemen written a personal policy paper ?and if they havent they better hurry up and do it ,if they want to represent anyone.
          The first two or three letters of the reasons why there were ghost town and no schooling were good on present issues.
          People dont want to vote for someone thats worse than what they have already and still end up ignoring what the protesting populations aims were.
          Dont mean to be rude towards the people your mentioning or anyone here .

        • Africans For Donald Trump

          Where is the strategy? When did stupidity and naivety become a strategy?

          SickSeku ayuk tabe the coward terrorist conman and his cohorts were abducted in Nigeria like chicken thieves with absolutely no resistance. His guards who show up in his video publications brandishing fake guns could not protect him.

          Biya could not kill Fru Ndi in the early 90s because he was surrounded by his supporters in Ntarikon.
          Agbor Balla/Fontem Niba took a stand against Biya while based in Buea. They were arrested and jailed for over half a year. They are both alive and free today and fighting on.
          If Sickseku was committed he will not hide in Nigeria thinking he is safe. If he was committed he would be in Cameroon safely surrounded by his ambazombie followers. However his followers are all cyber warriors.

        • Africans For Donald Trump

          You are a privileged ambazombie whose role is limited to making noise on the internet.Why don’t you swap roles with one of the poor youth you have been ushering to the streets to meet death in Cameroon? Why is your life and sicksekou ayuk’s life more important than the lives of the poor people on the ground whose children are being deprived from education and those who cannot go about earning their daily bread due to fear that their business premises will be burnt down by ambazombie terrorists?Anyone with a single brain cell and the option, will chose to be an internet warrior rather than get in the line of fire.
          We’ll rather our leaders stay in Cameroon and be protected by their supporters. However the ambazombies do not have popular support and will rather hide in proxy locations

        • Africans for Donald Trump, based on your argument I can’t help but ask: Why have you not taken up a leadership role against Biya given that you know what it takes to beat him?

          Who informed you that I have not been to the battlefields of Ambazonia? Well I have, now you know.

          Funny that you would cite Fru Ndi as an example when you have on multiple occasions on this forum tagged him a dictator with no vision for Cameroon whose mismanagement has destroyed the SDF. So my question to you is: why should IG draw strategic pointers from Fru Ndi who according to you is a failure of enormous proportions?

          You are one of those who hope to see the fight for Ambazonia’s freedom fail and you’d rather a failing strategy than a winning one. Please go ahead and initiate your movement as leader from LRC.

        • Africans for Donald Trump, you stated “Biya could not kill Fru Ndi in the early 90s because he was surrounded by his supporters in Ntarikon.”

          Think about Fru Ndi’s objectives and the results of his campaign against Biya – was Fru Ndi successful?

          Personally, I find it questionable that Biya needed to “kill Fru Ndi” given that the option of dealing with him through rigged elections was effective. His supporters in Ntarikon did not stop Biya from stealing his victory in the Presidential election let alone save him from death.

          You did celebrate the arrests of Fontem Neba, Agbor Balla and others on this forum so we are not surprised that you wish Ayuk Tabe was accessible for your pal Biya to throw in jail too. Sorry, we need not your guidance. This is our fight, thanks but no thanks.

  14. USA Africa,
    Why are you barking and wailing all over the internet endlessly? You are so worried about people whose children are being deprived of education, aren’t you? Why are you not spilling spittle about the places Biya’s children have taken away from poor students at Enam? What does going to school even signify to old drunkards like you? Aren’t you the same people who have trained people at Polytechnic, but borrow money to make notebook computers abroad? Where does your love for education begin and end? The small forest originated bully you are like complaining about others being abroad, where are you? You are so worried about business premises being burnt down, not the National Assembly building you deliberately burn down to hide evidence. Gorilla thugs only bark!

    • You are barking about Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, whose strength you claim in ends on the internet, but he seems to have gotten under your skin, judging from you infatuation with him. He is holding you, that’s why a day doesn’t go by without you mentioning him. You spend an inordinate amount of time on the Internet changing colors like a chameleon. Get a job for yourself, because mudslinging is the easiest of jobs and reserved for gossipy sloppy layabouts like you! Since you easily rolled over Fru Ndi by coopting him into the presidential majority and promised the frivolous Balla some senicures, you are weeping endlessly because you can’t blackmail Sisiku Ayuk! Didn’t I hear he’s already at Kondengui,qui eating your hamburgers wherever you are and go over there to taunt him, small effeminate gorilla

      • Africans For Donald Trump


        Since you have made significant progress towards your goal of seceding from The Republic of Cameroon and have successfully formed a delusional nation of ambazombies you now have enough time to address my “barking”.

        I am a responsible citizen of The Republic of Cameroon, from the North West of Cameroon and I will continue to expose the coward naive and stupid terrorist conmen of ambazombie.

        BTW you should be more concerned about the welfare of your leader rather than my “barkings”. Sickseku has been terrorizing people from the NW/SW who do not agree with his naive and stupid agenda of secession. We are yet to see him present a plausible path to secession. Maybe he will come up with a plan other than terrorizing the people now that he has been abducted with his crew.

    • Africans For Donald Trump


      You can be delusional all you want. That is your right! You do not understand the meaning of the word “bark”.

      You can continue to celebrate that all is going according to plan for you and your fellow ambazombies. You can continue to claim that you are making progress. Below is the progress you have made in your war to date.
      -Abolishment of education for the poor
      -Amputation of arms of young girls who want to pursue their education
      -Burnt down over 56 schools in the SW only
      -Burnt down businesses
      -Fomuki and Alfred Dasi in Kondengui
      -Killed 16 police members of the forces of law and order
      -Abduction of sick seku and a number of his crew of conmen

      My job is to expose your stupidity and naivety!
      Why care if I am a drunbkard/have a job or not ?
      Just celebrate your progress!

      • USA Africa alias bobjazz,
        I care whether you have a job, I really do. This is because for 56 years epicureans like you have spent time talking people to sleep. If you and your ilk worked hard, Cameroon would not need 560 billion in borrowed money. If you worked hard rather than barking on the internet, Italians would not need to bring pieces of the stadium to you, you would have trained your architects to be able to do the job. You have no single express way in the country, yet you call people names online the whole day. Any doubt why you have a complete cabinet in prison? You burnt the assembly building, have burnt nearly all strategic ministries over the years, why are you not making a song about it? Lazy sloppy layabout, get a job!

        • Africans For Donald Trump

          You are definitely delusional and have a right to be delusional if you think that will make you happy!

          I have highlighted the progress of your dumb secession movement to date for all to see.
          Since you are ashamed of the progress you have made to date you are forced to come up with delusional arguments that have no bearing on me.

          Anyone who thinks like you must be a very wretched person!
          I will continue to expose your naivety and stupidity!
          This is what you have achieved to date:

          -Alfred Dasi grass bird sniper and Fomuki in konmdengui.
          -Burnt down schools and markets
          -Amputated arms of young girls
          -16 police/gendarmes killed
          – Abduction of sickseku ayuk tabe and cohorts

          Despite your delusion you are deeply unhappy with the above ambazombi accomplishments!

        • Africans For Donald Trump

          I have composed a song for you ambazombis:

          Ambazombies failing, failing, failing
          Ambazombies failing due to their naivety
          Ambazombies failing due to their stupidity
          Ambazombie failing, failing failing
          Ambazombies failing and calling it success
          Sickseku tabe has fallen to terrorise no more
          Sickseku tabe abducted in Nigeria
          Sickseku tabe is crying crying crying
          Sickseku tabe is crying in abduction
          Sickseku tabe has been abducted in Nigeria
          Sickseku tabe abducted abducted abducted sickseku abducted with his dumb cohorts
          Can you see me dancing , dancing dancing
          Can you see me rejoicing that sickseku tabe has been abducted.

          Damn… I love these lyrics. Looks like this jobless drunkard found himself a job as a song writer. These lyrics are for sale. Mr Leo are you interested?

        • [email protected] ok you dont like some people so may i asl the same question again ….Which ones with authority in thse areas do you consider worthy because of past posative actions ,of reelection again and which ones are not ? Tell us please who you do consider posatively and their polices ,as alternatives to the ones you dont like if you dont mind.Thamks

      • Africans for Donald Trump, great song but outdated. The new IG President is Barrister Bobga Harmony so you might want to edit your lyrics. Enjoy!