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Nigerians in Cameroon Call for Help After Separatist Attacks

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON VOA | Nigerians living in Cameroon are asking both their government and their host country for help after at least 20 Nigerians were killed in separatist violence.

Ngozi Ester, 27, says she, her husband and three children escaped from the English-speaking northwestern town of Kumbo after suspected separatists attacked them one week ago.

“I pleaded with them that I am a Nigerian, but they insisted that since they are using the money for the taxes I pay to buy weapons and kill Anglophones, I am supporting the crisis, and they burned all of my goods and they destroyed everything I was doing,” she said from Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

Hundreds of Nigerians, in the company of Cameroonians, pray for peace in Cameroon’s restive English-speaking regions, at Saint Joseph’s Anglophone Parish in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, Sept. 6, 2019. (M.Kindzeka/VOA)

Separatists in north- and southwestern Cameroon ordered all businesses to close to protest the lifetime prison sentence given to their leader, Ayuk Tabe, by a military tribunal in Yaounde.

Joseph Ukah Mbila, president of the Nigerian Union in Yaounde, says they have taken in at least 100 Nigerians who fled the crisis. He says many of them were kidnapped and released only after ransoms were paid.

“Nigerians in those two regions have suffered a lot,” he said. “You know, we do not depend on salaries; we depend on our business and when you see they are not doing business, they have children, they have house rents to pay, they have electricity bills to pay, water bills and other things, they are suffering a lot. Many of them have packed out to Yaounde, to Douala, to Bafoussam.”

North- and southwest Cameroon have been rocked by violence since 2017, when English-speaking separatists began pushing to secede from Cameroon and its French-speaking majority.

Men hand out flags to people praying for peace in Cameroon’s restive English-speaking regions, at Saint Joseph’s Anglophone Parish in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, Sept. 6, 2019. (M.Kindzeka/VOA)

Since Friday, a series of special church services has been organized in Yaounde to raise funds to assist stranded Nigerians. John Ibe, secretary general of the Nigerian Union in Yaounde, says the beneficiaries will include families of 12 Nigerians who died in a shipwreck in late August.

He says the 12 victims, like thousands of commuters between Cameroon and Nigeria, had avoided traveling to Nigeria by road for fear of being killed or kidnapped by fighters.

“In less than one year, we have had four shipwrecks between Nigeria and Cameroon. This kind of loss of life, this kind of wanton loss of material resources. … Nigerians cannot take it anymore,” Ibe said.

Mbila says Nigerians want their government to help the government of Cameroon find a lasting solution to the crisis.

“There should be dialogue because there is nothing in this world that cannot be resolved on a round table,” he said. “There should be an exchange of ideas so that peace will come back to this great nation. We suffered civil war in Nigeria and we know what it means.”

It is estimated that between four and five million Nigerians live in Cameroon, the majority living in the English-speaking regions. The government has advised foreigners who feel threatened to leave, but says it is protecting everyone.

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25 comments

  1. It sounds very ridiculous to say, that they – Nigerians, are dying in the sea because they
    are afraid of separatist fighters. The losses and wanton loss of material resourses they
    can not take anymore. Way back as much as i can remember during my long stay in
    K- Town, it was the same sea faring deaths and loss of material resources. I do know
    of neighbors, people that i saw everyday etc who died or lost properth then. Let Nigerians,
    stop this nonesense. How many Nigerians, did SCnians, kill during your war? Why give
    us a bad name to stay and still from us like France is busy doing? There is nothing, that
    we can gain, either by joining Nigeria or being neighbors to them. Like Achebe said, they
    are `ungratefull ingrates`. Why did they not condemn Buhari`s act of handing the Nera
    10+ to LRC

    • Over to you, Kum-kum…

    • Brown Sugar ( Abuja )

      Joshua you talk too much and sometimes you end up talking nonsense brother.

      If only you live in Naija to witness the wide cry from Naijans when those Amba leaders where arrest and repatriated.

      Please stop the hate speech here, am a die hard and erstwhile Amba supporter. And to put the record straight I’m a full blooded Naija from the North Central. Some of you mistake me to be SC and others see me as Igbo from the South East of Naija.

      There’s an element of truth in what those affected are saying. We all know that the road to the end of Naija border is no go area for now.

      • Nigeria, is like the US. ` THERE ARE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN iRAQ`.
        Was that ever true? but the did what pleased them and got away with it. Tell me,
        who started all this. I still remember what happened in the 80ies:`Ghana must go`. Do Nigerians, feel sad about it? Capital NO. Has Nigerians, ever apologized
        to Ghanians about it? No. Can Nigeria apologize to Ambazonians for the sellout
        of the Nera 10 to LRC? NO. Nigerians are scammers robbing billions from old
        widows and parents in the US, can they stop it or appologize for ones for such
        act? No. In Thailand, Malaysia etc, Nigerians broke the law and do drugs. All
        we hear, is their gov`t defending their folks should be released etc etc etc etc.
        Hello, why so much sympathy, to the trouble shooter?

        • Brown Sugar ( Abuja )

          Mr. Joshua, it is sad to note that, what you harbour in your heart is pure hatred.

          The more trash you spew here to justify your vain babblings, the more nonsense you are making.
          If I may ask you politely, how old are you. You talk like a child to me, because you are becoming too emotional, but, you are not the only one who is sympathetic in this situation.

          Am glad you vividly remembered the mass expulsion of Ghanaians and other nationals from Nigeria in 1983/1984.

          But, you forgot the 1969 alien complains order carried out by the late Ghanaian president Busia, that expel foreigners, and Nigerians were the worst hit. Where we lost life, property and everything we have and build in that country. I guess you have no clue what am talking about Mr. Joshua.

          Up till now, the Ghanaian have

        • Brown Sugar ( Abuja )

          not apologize to Nigeria, and here you are talking about apology.

          And back to the Ambazonia sell out, it was an act that was committed secretly by both the Buhari and boy’s gov’t which Nigerians till find absurd. And many went to the street to protest and others like activists and senior advocates have drag the gov’t of Nigeria to court. Why because it was done unlawfully and couple with the fact that Nigeria have not sign the repatriation into law. Another gov’t will surely apologise to Ambazonia.

          You branded Nigeria and associated it with manner of crimes and types, but, what you fail to understand still, is the fact that crime is not limited to Nigeria or any country in the world today because crimes varies from place to place, which both Cameroon and Ambazonia are not exempted.

        • Brown Sugar ( Abuja )

          You can continue to rant here due to your uncontrolled emotions.

          But that won’t stop me from supporting Ambazonia.

    • Joshua, some of you spew hatred on everything especially when it goes against ambazonia. This kind of loss of common sense is why the struggle derailed and heading to doldrums so to speak. This individuals who lost materials and human lives are not suppose to. These are pure foreigners living amongst us. Why kill them or destroy their properties? And yet you seem to quiet them not to even say it out. You think its funny but what you don’t see is the tactical failure this struggle is facing. If this problem has to go to ECOWAS or OAU, you think Nigeria will support ambazonia case when their citizens are being killed??? You can jump in with insults as I see you do, but the reality check is that, the struggle has failed and English people are in for a huge consequence. Wait and see!!

  2. This is why I have always said that these Ambazombies are not fighting for the freedom of anglophones. They are a bunch of thieves. All they do is kidnap, behead or ask for ransom. How does kidnapping a poor Nigerian who is trying to take care of her family help free anglophones. These bastards are joking with Nigerians. They forget Nigerians can easily attack them as they share the same border in the Manyu division where their thugs are hiding in pushes. If this Nigerian woman didn’t confirm that it was the Amba thugs who are killing the Nigerians, they would have said it was the BIRs as usual.

  3. Buhari came to Cameroon and signed a pack with LRC to stage a war against (Separatists-Biafrans)” SC and now Nigerians are crying! Brothers, we are in together and tell Buhari to call Biya to stop the war, abi!

  4. Is this not definitive indisputable evidence that Christianity creates intellectually infirior humans? If not what is the connection between empty words pronounced in air and a conflict that was created and sustained by human action.even common sense will enable us to understand what needs to be done is careful thinking ahead of time, then action. The African Christian is not different from a stone that doesn’t think.

  5. Buhari kidnapped Ayuk Tabe et al. and sold to Dictator Biya.
    He therefore inadvertently declared war on Southern Cameroonians.
    His citizens should blame Buhari for their predicaments

    • Hope you know how many CMRs are living in NGR right now.

      Continue borrowing Biya’s curse in the name of self-defence.

      When this stuff is going to get real-rough, some of us would probable opt for the rope and a chair.

      Hope Chris is now having a good taste of how it feels when loved ones are directly caught in the web of our collective madness…

      • Brown Sugar ( Abuja )

        @ Oga Zam Zam,

        Na todai ah sabi seh u geh smo sense foh yuh ead.

        Amba Boiz, mek unu eazi foh attack on Naija pikin dem, foh unu kaban.

        Dis wan na confam bahdness unu freedom fighters wan start fa.

        Naija ah fi retaliate fa, Amba generals shud call ol dem boiz to order.

        If dem ah fi seh, attacking Naija wa goons dek. Den fire burn dem foh wi ends heah. Dem ah fi no no seh SC dem boku foh wi side, ol man no weah dem ma hook.

        I see blood baths already, Amba Boiz must desist from attacking Naija if they want to win this war.

  6. To me i will say let wait for God’s time, weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.
    So fellow Nigerian stay calm we ourselves the Southern Cameroonian are being rundown every day because of the coalition your tyrant Buhari and the dictator Biya of la république du Cameroun to kill and bury our mother land our people and our president and his cabinet. evil begets evil.

  7. President Buhari of Nigeria.started the war in Anglophone.Cameroon. BY kidnapping our lreaders in.Abuja and.selling them to LRC?

    • Camer believer (Colby)

      Your wild animalistic mouth tells everything about you and your thoughts.

    • @ Truth, what do you expect Nigerians to do with the thousands of anglophones that fled to Nigeria from Mamfe and surroundings if your Ambazonia thugs keep on killing Nigerians because of Buhari? Massa wuna try use wuna brain noh? Which kana foolishness be this? Wuna no fit fight BIR, now wuna want start a different front with Nigeria. e dei like God cursse this Ambazonia pipi.

    • Brown Sugar ( Abuja )

      @ The Truth,

      I thought the war has started even before the kidnapping and the repatriattion of the Ambazonia leaders.

      You guys should stop this blame game tactics and antics.

      Please,

      • @ Brown Sugar (Abuja)

        What have you seen? When people like us who are from the region who and against the regime did not join the evil cult led by sisiku, sako and anus, some of you thought we had lost our minds.

        you have not seen anything yet. the likes of joshua, epee, and that one in jamani who has been repeating the same thing for decades now are all under the spell of a wicked juju.

        what biya did not do to them, coconut head ayaba will do to them.

        both the amba boys and regime in place are enemies of africa.

  8. Herbs for Healing

    I saw this coming, hundreds gathering to pray while the sheeps, coming in to roast.

  9. Good morning my dear brothers and sisters and friends we must know one thing the truth what wrong did we do and are doing the good things out there. We must not sell drungs .

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