Secessionists: Conscious or Opportunistic Victims

President Paul Biya was right to say the people are being manipulated by selfish individuals who wants to destabilize the hitherto peaceful and united nation through the aid of some foreign donors.

Shawn-Nathan Epang

Cameroon’s two English-speaking Regions, North West and South West have since the second semester of 2016 been witnessing an unhealthy socio-political environment following corporate demands by Lawyers and teachers. While the government provided solutions to over 90 per cent of their demands, secessionist movements quickly took advantage of the situation and engaged in extremism acts of violence with several schools burnt, other private and state edifices razed, kidnappings, killings amongst other crimes.

The secessionist group of what is known as “Ambazonia Defence Forces,” “Southern Cameroon Defence Force” (SOCADEF) amongst others have taken up arms perpetrating horror in most parts of the South West and North West Regions. The armed separatist claiming independence of the former West Cameroon have considerable assistance from the diaspora. Not only a few Cameroonians leaving abroad in Europe, USA and South Africa are funding the criminal groups but also some corporate bodies are said to have connections of the armed separatist’s gangs.

One of the corporate institutions linked to the funding of the nebulous terrorist group is Kilimanjaro Capital, a Canadian based enterprise said to have connections with one Ebenezer Akwanga, Commander of SOCADEF.

International news organs have reported that the   Government of the Southern Cameroons, a small group of Cameroonians from the English-speaking part of the country, whose members are recruited mainly from the diaspora, signed in November 2012, oil exploitation agreements with the Belize Company domiciled in Canada, Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd, which claims the initiative. On January 30, 2013, the company announced that it had, in turn, transferred 20 per cent of its assets to Forest Gate Energy Inc. for future oil projects in the Southern Cameroons, which, according to their release, also contains “opportunities on diamond, gold, uranium, iron and bauxite. It was discovered in a statement released by Kilimanjaro Capital Plc in 2013 that Ebenezer Akwanga, presented as a lawyer for the Cameroonian secessionist movement, was co-opted into the Advisory Board of this investment firm.

Though it is not clear how much the unscrupulous individuals collected from the firm as payment for the exploitation of crude oil in parts of the English-speaking Cameroon, the CEO of Kilimanjaro revealed the amount is substantial. It disbursement awaits the declaration of independence by the so called Southern Cameroon government.

From the above, it is obvious that the peace, unity and national integrity of Cameroon has been sacrificed by a handful of individuals for ulterior motives. It is now understood  why a few diaspora Cameroonians including Ebenezer Akwanga have been fanning the crisis from their comfort zones in the diaspora even to the extent of disrupting schools, burning public structures, torturing even children, indiscriminate killings including a pregnant teacher amongst other atrocities. They have succeeded in manipulating several youths and recruited them in their ranks to fight for them while they hold on with their diabolic dream of a phantom nation one day.

The secessionists’ armed fighters are therefore opportunistic victims because some selfish individuals in the diaspora are using them to illegally enrich themselves and putting the community as their collaterals.

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