Alleged Deportation of Kidnapped Ambazonian Leaders; Nigerian Lawyer Petitions Government, as Many are Nigerian Citizens
PM News, and other Nigerian online Tabloids, are reporting that the interim President of Ambazonia, Sissiku Ayuk-Tabe and a good number of the 47 Ambazonians, kidnapped in Nigeria and allegedly deported to La Republique du Cameroun (LRC) last Friday, for incarceration, have permanent resident status in and are Nigerian citizens by naturalization. Also, one of them, Professor Awasum Augustine, a lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, is an American citizen.
According to a letter sent by one of their lawyer, Abdul Oroh, on Tuesday to the United States Embassy, the British High Commission, United Nations Human Rights Council and others, the naturalized Nigerians are Dr. Ojong Okongho, a businessman and Mrs. Nalowa Bih, a lawyer.
Sissiku Ayuk-Tabe, interim President of the Federal Repubic of Ambazonia, who was also allegedly deported, along with the 46 others is a permanent Nigerian resident, and lecturer at the American University of Nigeria in Yola. Three others, Dr Nfor Ngala Nfor, chairman of Southern Cameroons National Council, Mr. Tassang Wilfred, Secretary General of the Cameroon Teachers Trade Union (CATTU) and Barrister Shufai Blaise Berinyuy, have already been granted political asylum in Nigeria.
Dr. Fidelis Nde Che, also allegedly bundled to Yaoundé is an Associate Professor at the American University of Nigeria, while Dr. Henry Kimeng, teaches at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Dr. Cornelius Kwanga and Dr. Ogork Ntui, are lecturers at Umar Musa Yar’adua University in Katsina State, Nigeria, while Barrister Eyambe Elias is a registered refugee in Nigeria.
The prominent human rights activists and former member of the House of Representatives, Abdul Oroh, in the letter said 39 other refugees were arrested in Jalingo, Taraba state, by the Police and all were illegally deported, along with the leaders, who were kidnapped in Abuja by the Brigade of Guards on 5 January. They latter were detained for several weeks by the Defense Intelligence Agency, DIA, he aded.
Oroh described the allegedly deported Ambazonians as political activists and members of the Southern Cameroons National Council, “a body committed to preventing genocide and the oppression of the people of Southern Cameroons”.
“Our clients entered Nigeria legally through approved points of entry and have not committed any crime to warrant their arrest and deportation to Cameroon in breach of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law subscribed to by the Nigerian Government”, he noted in the letter.
According to him, the refugees were fleeing from “oppression and possible genocide from the Cameroonian military and paramilitary forces as directed by the Government of President Paul Biya.”
He maintained that, the purpose of their meeting in Abuja was to brief the Nigerian authorities about the situation in Southern Cameroons, solicit the support of the Nigerian Government in peacefully resolving the problem and to sensitize the Nigerian people who have gracefully hosted the refugees in the spirit of African brotherhood and as good neighbors.
Mr. Oroh appealed for urgent diplomatic intervention, “to prevent the imminent prosecution and execution of the political prisoners as they cannot be guaranteed free and fair trial by the Cameroonian authorities.”
“We also appeal that the prisoners be released forthwith to the UNHCR in compliance with International Humanitarian Law. Assuming without conceding, that they were involved in armed conflict, they should be treated as hors de combat, guaranteed humane treatment and afforded all the judicial guarantees including presumption of innocence, which are considered indispensable by civilized peoples”.
So far, the Federal Government of Nigerian has officially remain silent, either about the kidnap or the alleged deportation of the 47 Southern Cameroonians. The only official confirmation came from LRC itself, where the colonial Minister of Communications, Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the “47 terrorists among them Mr. Ayuk Tabe has for some hours being in the hands of Cameroonian justice before which they will answer for their crimes”.
The dramatic and alleged deportation of the interim President and co, by the Nigerian government, has been liken to the events of 2006, when former President Obassanjo, orchestrated the kidnap of former Liberian leader, Charles Taylor, who was on asylum in Nigeria, and then shipped to Monrovia and later handed to the International Court of Justice to face trial for war crimes.
The question here however is; Is Sissiku Ayuk-Tabe and others who are Professors in reputable Nigerian Universities WAR LORDS? Which acts of terrorism have they committed? When did advocating for the decolonization of a former UN Trust territory, recognized as independent by UN Resolution 1608 become an act of terrorism?
Until LRC, Nigeria, and the international community answer these questions in a SEPARATION DIALOGUE, Ambazonians shall continue to make Ambazonia ungovernable for the colonial master LRC. Every Ambazonian is a Sissiku Ayuk-Tabe on his or her own and will continue to resist the colonial master until the homeland is free.
James Agbor, BaretaNews Political Analyst.