Nigeria must not be treated as a weakling at all times by other countries, our government must make it very clear to Cameroon the need to respect our sovereignty.
Last December, Mr. Kingsley Mbia, a council chairman from Boki LGA in Cross River State sent out the following SOS text message to the head of the Department of State Service;
“Cameroonian army are at the verge of running over Danare 1 community in Boki LGA. Shooting on the outskirts of the village has claimed the life of one Akombi Mbia of Danare 1 and Osang Celestine Enu, a displaced person in Danare. We wish to appeal that soldiers be deployed in the area to save the life of the people.”
Then, last week Thursday (January 25), soldiers from Cameroon reportedly crossed into Nigeria again in search of refugees from the besieged Anglophone section of the country, the soldiers harassed a village head at Danare, Boki Local Government Area, demanding he release to them refugees from Cameroon.
However, on Monday (January 29), at about 2:00 a.m., the soldiers came back again, in greater number, and began shooting and ransacking the community in search of hiding Anglophone Cameroonians.
Mr. Douglas Ogar, the community Spokesperson narrated their ordeal;
“Our people did not sleep, yesterday (Monday), because gendarmes from Cameroon invaded our community, claiming they were looking for Ambazonian militants. The militants, who have since taken refuge in the surrounding forests, were also shooting. The entire community was in chaos.”
Meanwhile they soldiers warned the community of further military operation should the Cameroon government perceive any threat.
Irrespective of what the motive might be, it’s still an insult to our leaders that Cameroon can, and had on multiple times crossed into Nigeria, harass Nigerians, kill two persons, and abducted others, in addition to issuing a threat of a comeback.
What happened to our defense, what about diplomatic and military channels of communication? How safe are Nigerians if Cameroon can just operate in and out of these communities without any resistance from Nigeria?
Mr. Jude Ngaji, the Cross River State Security Adviser, was right in saying that the issue has gone beyond the police, it still doesn’t warrant an execution of arrest within Nigeria by Cameroon, after all the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees, UNCHCR, is aware that thousands of Cameroonians are coming into Nigeria as refugee.
Cameroon needn’t ratify the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention in order to respect Nigeria’s sovereignty, and our government must make this very clear. We must not be treated as weakling at all times by other countries.