The intelligence cooperation deal signed between Yaoundé and Abuja that culminated to the abduction and subsequent extradition of the President of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and 46 members of his administration to Cameroon has created an equally dangerous enemy: corruption deep within the Nigerian police force.
That is according to Cameroon Intelligence Report correspondent in Calabar who recently found out that Nigerian police officers are enriching themselves by arresting innocent Southern Cameroonian refugees and ferrying them to Abuja.
We gathered that the Nigerian officers are given handsome financial rewards and in some cases they are accorded rank progression for any Southern Cameroonian arrested in Calabar or Ikom and taken to Abuja. Our senior intelligence officer in the Nigerian political capital who contributed to this report noted that the dollar payments are made by officials in the French embassy in Abuja.
Some of the officers who spoke to our undercover reporter in Calabar revealed that sometimes raids are staged in camps hosting Southern Cameroons refugees and the unlucky ones are immediately transported to Abuja. “It’s a money making venture and we are enjoying it” noted a Nigerian police officer at the Ikom police headquarters.
Much of this money is said to have come from deals negotiated with French multinationals drilling the Bakassi oil fields by the Biya Francophone regime in Yaoundé. A police constable who confirmed French embassy participation in the scheme but sued for anonymity revealed that some of his superiors ordered him to include “ghost police officers” who don’t exist resulting in inflated payments that benefit some police chiefs.
A senior aide to the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, Dr. Samuel Ikome Sako contacted by our London desk declared that the Interim Government was aware of the situation and had hired a legal team in the Cross River State in Nigeria to counter the move.
Inside sources in Abuja say the Biya regime is losing millions of dollars on fraudulent policing action targeting the Southern Cameroons communities in Nigeria. A Roman Catholic priest in Calabar was quoted as saying that Corruption in Nigeria is worsening the Southern Cameroons conflict.
The Buhari administration has opened secret detention centers in Abuja for Southern Cameroonian activists arrested in Cross River State. Elsewhere, United Nations officials have completed registration in Sardauna Local Government Area, Taraba state bringing the total figures of Ambazonian refugees in Nigeria to 21,291. In Boki Local Government Area, Cross River, seven new villages are reportedly hosting an unverified number of new refugees. The UN is planning registration missions to the said villages.
On 24 April, UNHCR chaired the monthly technical coordination meeting in Calabar on Cameroonian refugees to assess the multi-sectoral response to the refugee influx in Nigeria’s southeastern states. As key outcomes of the meeting, the Ministry of Health (MOH) committed to taking measures to ensure that refugees receive free primary healthcare services in Cross River state. Also, the Cross River state Primary Health Care Development Agency indicated that it is recruiting additional healthcare workers to meet increasing demand as a result of the refugee influx across the state. Some 50,000 Southern Cameroonians have fled the conflict into neighboring Nigeria
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai