Defence & Security

Army, Police deny Cameroon separatists attack on C’River

By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja

• Over 500 fleeing Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria – SEMA

Nigeria Army has refuted claims that Cameroonian separatists launched an attack on a Nigerian community, Bashu, in Boki Local Government in Cross River State on 29 May 2022. It said the alleged attack was on two Cameroonian communities, Obonyi 2 and Njasha.

A report has stated that militants of a Cameroonian separatist group, Ambazonia, attacked Boki Local Government Area on Sunday, killing 20 people in Bashu community.

Responding to the report in a statement on Monday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the report was false and misinformation, adding that no Nigerian community was attacked by Cameroonian separatists.

While urging the public to disregard the information, Nwachukwu said citizens should not panic but go about their legitimate activities.

He said, “The Nigerian Army has been notified of a statement insinuating that Nigerian villages were attacked by Cameroonian (Ambazonian) separatists on 29 May 2022.

“Contrary to the misinformation, own troops deployed at Danare received information on Sunday morning about the said attack. The troops immediately mobilised to Bashu community, which was allegedly under attack.

“On their arrival, it was revealed that Bashu was not under attack and no external incursion was recorded; rather the separatists attacked Obonyi 2 and Njasha, both of which are communities located in the Republic of Cameroon. Four victims of the attack, who crossed over to Nigerian territory were later rescued by our troops and operatives of Nigerian Immigration Services. The attack was therefore not within Nigerian territory as claimed.

“Members of the public are enjoined to disregard the unsubstantiated information and not panic.”

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Similarly, the Commissioner of Police in Cross River State, Aminu Alhassan, told newsmen on Monday that there was no single attack on Bashu community let alone the killing of 20 persons in Boki Local Government Area of the state on Sunday.

Alhassan noted that the report was not only fake but a “figment of the writer’s imagination”. While asking the public to disregard the report, he urged journalists to always crosscheck facts before publication.

He said, “There was no militancy attack in Boki Local Government Area, not to even talk of killing 20 people as alleged by the report.

“There was an attack and deaths, but it was in neighbouring Cameroon and not on Nigerian territory.

“For the sake of emphasis, there was no attack in Boki Local Government Area or in any part of Cross River.”

Meanwhile, the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has said that no fewer than 500 fleeing Cameroonian refugees have crossed the border into Bashu community in the state.

Princewill Ayim, the Director-General of SEMA, stated this while responding to journalists in Calabar on Monday.

He explained that the refugees were fleeing from the alleged invasion of their community by Ambazonian fighters in the Republic of Cameroon.

“We got the information Sunday that Ambazonian fighters invaded a community in Cameroon, which shares border with Bashu community in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River.

“We learnt that while some people were shot dead in the Cameroonian community, no fewer than 250 were injured, while at least 500 have fled into Bashu for protection.

“We have constituted a multifunctional team of officials from SEMA, UN High Commission for Refugees, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced and Caritas Foundation to assess the situation after which we can determine the exact number of people that have fled into Nigeria,” Ayim said.

However, he added that there was no report of anybody either attacked or killed in Bashu community.

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