Ambazoniagate: Corruption, Politics and the Economic Interests that united Buhari, France and French Cameroun
To understand the corruptive influence of France in Nigerian politics that is central to the rendition of Southern Cameroons leaders who were legally on the territory of Nigeria under the protection of international law, one needs to go back to the overthrow of President Shehu Shagari December 31, 1983 by a military junta led by then Major General Muhammadu. The civilian government of Shehu Shagari was overthrown for alleged widespread corruption with one outstanding case being the corruption surrounding the award and execution of the contract relating to the Ajaokuta Textile Mills. That corruption deal bore the fore-mark of a French construction firm with significant French neo-colonial political interest; Fourgerolle. In its fall out, the alleged war against indiscipline and corruption became the mantra on which Buhari installed a regime of terror, lawlessness and the northernisation of Nigerian political life. While he installed discipline and curbed corruption, he ran the economy aground and significantly installed a political culture of reckless disregard for the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Nostalgic for a curb to corruption and discipline in governance, a sizeable majority of Nigerians elected him to power through an unpredictable alliance of strange political bed fellows forgetting that the political instincts that propelled him to power through unconstitutional means would hurt the diplomatic credentials of Nigeria obtained on the blood and sweat of millions of Nigerians. True to his old self and unconstitutional instincts, once firmly in power, he used the war against corruption to settle political scores against political opponents real or apparent. The nepotism evident in his political appointment, and its attendant corruptive influence shocked and alarmed the Federation. His disdain for constitutional governance led him to send in DIA operatives on the orders of the national security adviser (NSA) Maj-Gen Babagana Mongunoto abduct judges at night, disappeared political opponents, ignored court orders, and squandered state resources on his family and personal endeavours. With a possible challenge to his candidacy within his own party, and an opposition firestorm rallying competing political forces within the Federation disenchanted with his dictatorial proclivities, he saw and impending need to source for money without which he intends to ward off internal challenge in his party and an energised opposition. This dire need for campaign resources and the insatiable appetite of his immediate family and his coterie of advisers and policy makers surrounding him led him to cut a deal authorising the rendition of Southern Cameroons leaders who were abducted a fail operation to execute them to French Cameroun in one of the most egregious corruption deals in the annals of Nigerian history.
The spectacular change in French policy towards Nigeria for economic and strategic realignment made this possible. France’s early recognition and support for Biafra in its war against Nigeria was never for the interest of the Biafrans. It was to secure French economic access to the oil wells and the natural resources in the Gulf of Guinea. The Niger Delta, Bakassi and the Southern Cameroons oil wells and other strategic natural resources fall within the Gulf of Guinea. When the Biafra war ended unsuccessfully, France made a strategic realignment by negotiating a strategic economic alliance with the gullible and corrupt Nigerian political elite, most of them in the Northern political/military establishment of which Muhammadu Buhari was and is a key member.
France has a magnetic control of the soul of its France-Afrique vassal states like French Cameroun. A military/economic/cultural cooperation agreement retained France’s sovereignty over the supposed independent French Cameroun. But a significant portion of the economic interests of France in the Gulf of Guinea lies outside the sovereign control of France-Afrique. France therefore negotiated and established an impressive predatory formal and informal economic and strategic cooperation agreements with the corrupt Northern Nigeria controlled power military and civilian political and economic elite. Abuja the Nigerian capital became the powerhouse of French intelligenceservices overseeing and superintending France’s economic and strategic interests in the Gulf of Guinea.
The visit to Nigeria by His Excellency Obiang Nguema after a French inspired attempted coup d’etat against him in which mercenaries from some CEMAC countries, including French Cameroun participated, underscores the troublesome influence of French intelligence services operating from Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea. In a statement after his meeting with President Buhari, Obiang Nguema strongly counselled that the Southern Cameroons- Ambazonia crisis can only find a solution in a meaningful all-inclusive dialogue. That statement coming from a neighbouring country to Southern Cameroons with which Equatorial Guinea shares a maritime border and French Cameroun with which it shares a maritime and land border carried symbolic weight worth recognizing. France, an enemy state to the government of Equatorial did not take the option of peace and dialogue proposed by Equatorial Guinea kindly. If anything, France conceived the position taken by Equatorial Guinea as a tacit recognition of the legitimate grievances of the Southern Cameroons which it considers a threat to its economic and strategic interests within the territory of the Southern Cameroons, the Niger Delta and the entire Gulf of Guinea.
From the very inception of the ongoing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity against Southern Cameroons, the French diplomatic mission in Abuja Nigeria has been very militant in its support for the international crimes committed against the Southern Cameroons in contrast to the French Ambassador in Yaoundé French Cameroun who has insistently called for the resolution of the conflict through dialogue. The French ambassador in Nigeria has been resolute in his overt support for the ongoing crimes in the Southern Cameroons. In one occasion, he told representatives of the African Bar Association in Abuja that he was prepared to ask Paul Biya to release Ambazonian leaders and citizens abducted and interned in concentration camps in French Cameroun, if they called off ghost towns and asked children to go back to school. He called the President of the African Bar to protest the widely applauded statements he made during the African Bar Association Conference that took place in Port Harcourt Nigeria from the 7 to 10 August 2017 regarding the crimes committed against Southern Cameroons by French Cameroun. In that speech the President of the African Bar Association stated that the right of the people of the Southern Cameroons to self-determination was a right protected by International law and must be respected. This is in stark contrast to his counterpart in Yaoundé who made no such requests or passed value judgments apart for a call for dialogue and the respect of the historic specificity of the Southern Cameroons.
The double speak of France on this matter may conceal the fact that France has a consistent predatory economic policy which considers Southern Cameroons-Ambazonia as its exclusive territory. Over a period of 56 years France has raped the economy of the Southern Cameroons and encouraged and sponsored state terrorism and suppression of Southern Cameroonians. This is the reason why France encouraged and provided logistical, diplomatic support in bankrolling the abduction and rendition of Southern Cameroons leaders in Nigeria to French Cameroun.
Cameroon Intelligence Report, published an article about the dilemma that Nigeria faced due to the botched attempt to execute the Southern Cameroons abductees the same day of their abduction. We republish the said article that gave details of the plan to abduct and execute the Southern Cameroons leaders. However, the operation as originally conceived failed for the reasons stated in the Cameroon Concord News Group publication.
Although touted as a non-tolerant anti-corruption crusader, Buhari has been forced by circumstances and dire need for political survival in the unpredictable turbulent seas of Nigerian politics to become mired in the systemic corruption that is a fixture of Nigerian politics. His administration is driven by the cruel instincts of nepotism. This vice goes hand in grove with corruption. He is facing the prospects of a challenge within his party in the February 2019 elections. He is unsure of the support of the ever unpredictable Yuroba political mavericks led by Asiwaju Tinubu the enigmatic former governor of Lagos state and corrupt economic interests that bankrolled his election. He has serious health challenges and his economic policies are pedestrian, rudimentary and prone to corruptive exploitation by countries like France and many national and international corruption cartels.
A God father of political Islam that mid-wifed Boko Haram on the back of which he rose to power, he like Paul Biya and other war economy profiteers, have made a fortune on the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram. He opposed the war against Boko Haram when he was in the opposition and indeed, was compelling in the invitation of the ICC to commence a preliminary examination against the Nigerian Army then led by a General Iherijaka an Ibo in South East Nigeria. A Chadian Minister of communication revealed then that about 47% of the arms in the hands of Boko Haram came from France.
France through Paul Biya and his crime syndicate which includes Northern French Cameroun’s trans-border members of the political Islam cartel and economic profiteers paid heavy sums of money as ransom for the release of French men who were abducted by Boko Haram. There can be no gainsaying the negotiations would not have been possible if interlocutors and the institutions they represented did not know the leaders of Boko Haram holding the captives. In Nigeria, Buhari has consistently been promoting dialogue with Boko Haram and has even granted amnesty to many of them. Meanwhile he has silently encouraged Fulani armed marauding cattle herdsmen to pursue the same agenda which they devolved on Boko Haram against non-Fulani communities in the Middle Belt, South East, South-South and the West. Additionally, he has sought to sabotage an amnesty deal which Godluck Jonathan signed with the Delta Niger militants fighting for economic survival and sovereignty over the mineral and natural resources on their ancestral land. France has sustained its economic interests in the Niger Delta and in the Southern Cameroons through the support of the Nigerian political economic and power elite. This has largely been successful through large scale corruption masked in diplomatic, economic and intelligence cooperation.
France negotiated the politically and economically beneficial partnership that led to French Cameroun and Nigeria cooperating in the war against Boko Haram. That deal provides the largely Northern power cartels in Nigeria, their trans-border political Islam brotherhood in Northern French Cameroun and the Beti-Bulu crime syndicate in French Cameroun with the spoils of the war economy which includes enormous resources provided by the international coalition engaged in the war against terrorism. These funds, as well as those stolen from the territory of Ambazonia, the Niger Delta and neo-colonial multinational corrupt economic deals, provide enormous resources to sustain Mohammadu Buhari in power come 2019 and Paul Biya in French Cameroun come the elections a few months from now. These guarantors of French imperial interests in the Gulf of Guinea had to maintained power at the cost of the sovereignty the of Southern Cameroon and the blood of its people. As the gateway to the Gulf of Guinea, France perceives the independence of the Southern Cameroons as a serious threat to its strategic economic interest and an affront to its France-Afrique slave policies.
The growing influence and international recognition of the interim government of Ambazonialed by the charismatic President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe worried the French. It is alleged that the abduction of Ambazonian leaders was a joint operation conducted by Nigeria and French Cameroons intelligence hit men with technical intelligence provided by the operatives of the French intelligence and external research directorate present in Abuja Nigeria. Their mission was to abduct, disappear and execute the abductees. They did not seek the support of the Nigerian National Intelligence Agency whose director was under suspension. They did not deem it necessary because they were so sure of the success of the operation. Its failure is partly blamed on the national intelligence agency whose operatives followed the planned abduction and execution with so much anger. They however gathered intelligence about the operation and shared with other intelligence unit. When Buhari and his very corrupt tribal cabal surrounding him became aware, they became alarmed and confused on how to proceed. Meantime the details of the operation found their way into the hands of the intelligence services of some significant powers who have since kept the evolving criminal operation under observation and scrutiny. Meantime some key constituencies within the very polarized Nigerian political landscape began showing interest in this multimillion euro criminal operation.
Amid this corruption operation and its consequences which are unfolding, Buhari replaced the director of the national intelligence agency with his point man from his own state in the multinational forces against Boko Haram. He is a disgraced senior officer who had come under investigation in the past for corruption. He has a degree in French and was his point person in the corruption cartel thatmanages and shares the spoils of the war economy in the war against Boko Haram. With the assistance of France, French Cameroun corrupted the Buhari administration through his immediate tribal administration in the DSS and his immediate entourage with an alleged sum of about five hundred million Euros. Buhari had little choice but to give his blessings to the corrupt deal because his political survival in an uncertain political gamble come 2019 depends largely on the spoils of the betrayal and blood of the Southern Cameroonians.
But he had a problem, what explanation would he provide for the abduction and execution of Southern Cameroons leaders since his own national intelligence agency had shared the details of the operation with their peers from some countries? He ordered his attorney-general and inspector-general of police to look for a legal justification for the abductions and hand over to French Cameroun. That way, he hoped to justify the corrupt deal by shifting the responsibility for the execution of these leaders to French Cameroun. Due to there being no extradition treaty between Nigeria and French Cameroun they hoped to rely on the Commonwealth protocol in judicial cooperation to send the abductees to French Cameroun to die in the gallows of a predetermined political court-martial. That option failed because political offenses are not extraditable under those principles and protocol. They explored a longstanding judicial cooperation agreement with French Cameroon but that too, like in the case of extradition required an order of the court which they were not prepared to obtain. They explored the cooperation under the Lake Chand Basin Commission but again that did not work because French Cameroun and Nigeria considered it as an insufficient basis for military cooperation in the war against Boko Haram. President Holland of France had to summon President Goodluck Jonathan and Paul Biya to France and imposed a military cooperation agreement on them. Besides, the legal basis of relying on that treaty would still have necessitated a court order. Finally, French Cameroun upped the amount of the corruption deal and the Nigerian leader and the corrupt cartel around him agreed to sacrifice the principles that make Nigeria great and respected in Africa and the world to their personal appetite for money and personal power. They accepted the money and sent the hostages to the potential gallows of French Cameroun political court-martial.
The corrupt cartel in this shameful operation succeeded to sell our leaders hoping to abate the threats posed to their economic interests by the Ambazonia revolution. That is a pipe dream. The Ambazonia revolution will never fail. If anything, it will grow in intensity until victory is attained. Also, our leaders like Joseph in the Biblical Egyptian dungeon will survive the ordeal when most members of the corruption cartel are gone to defend their actions before the Lord. Since time belongs to God, that time will come sooner than they may speculate. Paul Biya, Laurent Esso, Atang aNji, Joseph Beti Assoumou, Isa Tchiroma Bakary, Fame Ndongo, Owona Nguini, Enoh Meyomesse, Tabe Tando, Victor Mengot, Patrick Ekema, TV 4 and its genocide apologists, General Nouma, Oum II Joseph the SDO for Manyu, the Francophone Governors of South and North West and every individual who participated in the ongoing campaign of genocide or who partook in the international operation to abduct our leaders will never know peace to their fourth generations on earth or in the life beyond. Meantime, the intensity of the liberation struggle in self defence will grow from strengthen to strength. As the ordeal of the abduction and rendition of Southern Cameroons leaders, the fate of Mancho Bibixy and thousands in French Cameroun’s dungeons and the blood of the martyrs of the revolution will inspire the soul of the revolution. The Southern Cameroons is on its own since it has become obvious that key members of the international community and international institutions that pledged to eradicate the scourge of war, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide so that never again humanity is faces extermination, it has no choice than to fight on. It must fight on, knowing that its opposing forces in this genocidal war are French Cameroun, France, Nigeria and corrupt officials in the UN, AU and international bureaucratic organizations charged with safeguard world peace and security. With God on its side and its determination to fight and survive, it shall prevail.
Cameroon Concord News Group is pursuing further investigations into this international criminal operation and its unfolding fallout.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai
Chairman and Editor-in-Chief
Cameroon Concord News Group