As the struggle for the restoration of the Independent state of Biafra and freedom for the people of Southern Cameroon gathers greater momentum, a coalition of Biafra Freedom groups such as IPOB and their Cameroonian counterparts is very Imminent according to information from reliable sources. The Leadership of both freedom groups are currently working out a possibility and a framework as this will further strengthen the struggle for independence.
In an interview made available to IBTimes UK, human rights activist and former political prisoner Ebenezer Akwanga spoke on the struggle for independence in Southern Cameroons. Akwanga alleged that human right abuses against pro-independence activists in Southern Cameroons are common.
You will recall that In 1997, Ebenezer Akwanga was imprisoned and tortured in Cameroon for six years due to his political activism. He is now the president of the Southern Cameroons Youth League.
Akwanga believes the people of Southern Cameroon might ally with pro-Biafrans in Eastern Nigeria, who are also fighting to gain independence. “Political sequences took place which affected our culture, language, traditions, everything that makes us a people,” he said.
Southern Cameroons joined the Republic of Cameroon in 1961 and prior to that there was an earlier coalition of Southern Cameroon and Eastern Nigeria (Biafra) headed by an Igbo Biafran and Pan-Africanist by name Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and that political coalition was referred to NCNC (national Council for Nigerians and the Cameroon).
Could this current Imminent coalition be a recall of history between the two regions of Biafra and Southern Cameroon.
Currently Ebenezer Akwanga is the Chairman of OEAS (Organisation of Emerging African States), a UN recognized and Washington based organisation with the mission of breaking the artificial barriers and boundaries of Western colonialism in Africa. This the organization is doing pretty well.
Southern Cameroons was the southern part of the British Mandate territory of Cameroons during the colonisation.
In 1961, people of Cameroon voted whether to join Nigeria or the Republic of Cameroun, which had already obtained independence from Britain and France one year earlier.
The vote resulted in Southern Cameroons became part of Cameroon.
“Around 1984 the Cameroon Anglophone Movement started. It was first looking for a return to a federal system of governance and later on became the Southern Cameroon Restoration Movement.
“The Southern Cameroons Youth League was born and our goal was simple: We wanted the total and unconditional independence of the Southern Cameroons.”
A coordinator of Ipob in Nigeria’s Anambra state, who spoke to IBtimes UK on condition of anonymity, confirmed pro-Biafrans and people in Southern Cameroons might come together. He said: “IPOB is ready to work or join forces with any group seeking for independence from slavery and persecution. And our people in Southern Cameroon are not any different.”
The Biafran territories were forcibly annexed to Nigeria during the British colonisation.
Pro-Biafrans call for the independence of the Biafran territories forcibly annexed to Nigeria during the British colonisation, which ended in 1960.
The declaration of the independent Republic of Biafra in 1967 sparked a civil war that resulted in the death of millions mostly children and the re-annexation of the republic to Nigeria in 1970.
Pro-Biafrans hold regular marches across Eastern Nigeria calling for independence and the release of their leader Nnamdi Kanu, who is the head of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob).
In a similar development David Otto, CEO of UK-based global security provider TGS Intelligence Consultants, told IBTimes UK that a union between the two groups is very likely and could further destabilise the region.
“Although the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNS) is purely a peaceful movement, they could be tempted to join forces with the Biafra movement, which has been vocal in their willingness to use armsagainst the Nigerian government,” said Otto.
“The Biafran movement will prefer to use their affiliation with members of the SCNC to secure a safe haven in Cameroon or perhaps use Cameroon as a point to launch attacks against the Nigerian government.
“The entire region will be in chaos from both ends and it will be easier for Boko Haram terrorists to hijack the opportunity and extend southwards in Cameroon and Nigeria.”
Otto also said that a holistic approach is required to resolve issues of self-determination and independence and called on both government to organise a referendum on independence.
“There is no need for government to wait until arms and violence becomes the only option. Self determination referendums have been successfully done in many countries including Ethiopia, UK, Canada, Spain, etc. In a democratic setting, let the people decide their destiny.”
The Nigerian government has continued to clamp down, detain and in some cases killed peaceful and non violent Pro-Biafra protesters in Nigeria. Some of the incidents include the February 9 Aba killing, the August 30, 2015 Onitsha Killing, the arrest of Pro-Biafra Protesters in Abuja, Portharcourt, Owerri and Asaba. These the group IPOB has condenmed and called their members to opt for self defense.
The Cameroonian embassy in London has not replied to a request for comment according to ibtimes.
When contacted by IBTimes UK, the UK government said: “The position of the UK government during the Biafran War is a matter of historical record. The UK government’s position, which reflected the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity, was to recognise the borders laid down at Independence.
“The Biafran War caused great suffering and the UK supported the reconciliation work that followed the conflict. The UK supports the territorial integrity of Nigeria and President Buhari’s commitment to work for a secure and prosperous Nigeria for all Nigerians.”
IBTimes UK also understands that the UK recognises the 1961 annexion of southern Cameroons to Cameroon as legitimate. The UK government also encourages all political groups in Cameroon to engage constructively and respect the democratic process for bringing their political ideology before the people of Cameroon.