By Folegwe II Menky, March 14, 2017
Cameroon Journal , Yaounde – Africans Riding for Justice, Peace & Dignity, a Nigerian advocacy group has raised concerns over the Federal Government of Nigeria’s prolonged silence on the ongoing crisis in the English speaking regions of Cameroon.
The “Leadership” newspaper in Nigeria reported that the Pan-African group also implored the international community to wade in and resolve the crisis in former Southern Cameroons (now North West and South West Regions).
Since the Anglophone crisis started in October 11, 2016 with the Common Law lawyers strike and degenerated into a popular uprising, neither the Federal Government of Nigeria nor its diplomatic representation in Cameroon has issued a statement.
Leadership newspaper quoted John Odah, a member of Africans Riding for Justice, Peace & Dignity, as saying that the international community could not be indifferent at this point in time. Odah is reported to have noted that Southern Cameroons must be rescued from oppression.
Going by sources, Magret Udoh, Spokesperson for the Pan-African group told reporters in Abuja over the weekend that human rights violation such as killings, arbitrary arrests, detention, torture, disappearances and banning of civil society consortium were noticeable threats against the people of the region.
“We need to speak out together and decide what change we wish to see in our countries, across Africa and with what we want Africa to be when we celebrate Africa Day in the future,” Udoh is quoted as saying in Leadership newspaper.
While calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to condemn the injustice against Anglophones, the group warned that it will be dangerous if Nigeria refused to halt the violation of people’s right.
It should be recalled Cameroon and Nigeria share a border of some 1950 km from Lake Chad in the north to the Gulf of Guinea in the south. The boundary remains the longest compared to that shared by each of them with any of their neighbours.
Issues that have affected one of the countries have had spillover effects in the other like the Boko Haram insurgency and Ebola.
With over four million Nigerians living in Cameroon; one of the largest Nigerian Diasporas in the world, there are indications that how the crisis is handled, is going to affect Nigerians living in the troubled regions.