Ayade: UN Paying Lip Service to Crisis in Southern Cameroon


By Bassey Inyang in Calabar

As thousands of Camerounians flee their country into Nigeria and particularly Cross River State, as a result of the crisis in Southern Cameroun, the state Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has charged the United Nations to always nip each crisis in the bud before it morphs into a humanitarian crisis.

Ayade stated this at the weekend when he received the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Sadiya Umar Farouq, and the Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS High Commission for Refugees, Antonio Canhandula, during a courtesy call on him in Calabar, the state capital.

The governor who clarified that he was speaking as a human being and not as a governor, maintained: “In the video clips going round the world today, I think humanity is being debased and I think UN must sit up because what you are doing is medicine after death and a lip service.”

Flaying what he described as reactionary on the part of the federal government and the UN, Ayade’ said: “You cannot watch the dislocation of family structures, kids being separated from their parents, husbands separated from their wives and all you do is to rush with food to their corridors and create squatters and camp for them and you think that is UN? You have failed. What is united about that? There is nothing united, if we are indeed a UN, the issue on Cameroon should be at the forefront of UN today.”

Insisting that he was yet to see any serious issue being made out of the crisis on either CNN or BBC, the governor said: “Any form of relocation of a people, no matter how temporary, is a failure of the world to address the issues that border on humanity, and I think UN must take this message very clearly that it has gotten too involved in the politics of redistribution of wealth and has forgotten its essence which was peace, unity and love.”

Frowning at the alleged closure of the Cameroon international borders against the Anglophones Camerounians, Ayade, who described the act as criminal, said: “Today, the Cameroon international borders are all sealed against the Anglophone Cameroonians, and UN is watching and coming with food, that is not food. That is poison because indeed you know their real trouble and ypur silence has done nothing today; just note that it will hunt you one day.”

The governor who explained the supportive roles played by Cameroon at the height of Biafra, IPOB and Boko Haram, enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari as the leader of Africa not to get involved in the politics of the Cameroon issues but should  interfere in the lives of every single Black man on earth.

Recounting the associated challenges of the crisis prone area, Ayade said: “The young people’s lives have been cut short, young kids don’t go to school, the entire southern part of Cameroon, the English speaking part is  completely shut down, hospitals are not working and people’s lives are in danger.”

The governor who disclosed that with about 2,430 refugees already  in Cross River State,   which he said was an indication of a near cataclysm, stated that the state government would partner the federal government to bring succour in order to return the victims to their homes within the shortest possible time.

He also assured the people that “we will join hands with UN to find a political solution and a lasting peaceful option for the people of Cameroon to live in peace as well as have prosperity and realise their full potential as human beings.”

Earlier, Farouq told the governor that the team was in the state to applaud him for hosting the refugees who sneaked into the state through Ikom and Amaga in Obudu, as well as meet with the victims who were at the moment being attended to through the distribution of relief materials.

The Country Representative Canhandula, intimated that “the solutions to the crisis could not be offered by one person, hence we are here  to offer our partnership towards resolving these problems,” adding: “We also have other UN agencies that have been accredited in your state, we will synergise with them to boost humanity care.”

  • Ohajianha Ozichukwu

    If we could have this kind of courageous and sensible young men as political leaders, our country will be better for it. We have been unfortunate to have political leaders who only play cosmetic roles in unfortunate circumstances as these Southern Cameroonians have found themselves. If it were other governors like the fool in Owerri, he would have taken a crowd of pressmen, with their cameras beaming live as they hand out these particles of food to the suffering people. And they will feel that they have demonstrated good degree of responsibility over the displaced people. We are told that the primary responsibility of government to the people is to provide security of lives and property. How has the government of Cameroon performed in this? How has the Regional Political Leaders shown concern since Cameroon started boiling? What role has the world body, the UN played to stop or redirect the political course of impunity that led the Southern Cameroon to begin to think of walking away from that union called country?
    This is similar to what General Buhari is doing in Nigeria of today. In less than few weeks, a bill for the development of North East part of Nigerian scaled through the Federal Parliament. In a matter of few days, President Buhari hurriedly signed it into law. The question is; from where will the money to sponsor the developmental projects come from? Certainly, it is from the proceeds of oil from the Niger Delta Region. It will also come from the VAT collected from businesses in the South of Nigeria. Early this year, this man deluded the people of the Niger Delta when he organized a fanfare called the Ogoni Clean Up project. Since after that public show, what has happened in Ogoni Land? The Hen that is laying the golden egg is suffering from malnutrition while other are enjoying. All the federal agencies that have been created to provide some sort of succor in the Niger Delta have gone moribund as they are starved of funds. Who will talk? The Emperor’s military is ever ready to crush the “dissidents”.