Gunmen suspected to be Cameroonian security forces have reportedly abducted some leaders of the Ambazonia separatist movement, which is seeking independence for the English-speaking part of the country.
The alleged abduction happened as the leaders of the group were having a high-powered meeting in Nera Hotel, Abuja on Friday.
The group led by Julius Tabe has been pushing for independence for the two Anglophone regions in Southern Cameroon of the majorly Francophone country, citing discrimination from the President Paul Biya-led country.
According to TheCable, others picked up by the gunmen alongside Tabe are Nfor Nfor, Fidelis Che, Henry Kimeng, Awasum, Cornelius Kwanga, Tassang Wilfred, Eyambe Elias, Ojong Okongho and Nalowa Bih.
A spokesman for the group said, “The interim government of the Southern Cameroons condemns and calls for the immediate release of President Julius Ayuk Tabe.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria has been notified of the incident and it is currently investigating the situation.
“This criminal abduction happened during a meeting being chaired by H.E. Sisiku Ayuk Tabe. The President and his team were in a high command meeting in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria at the time the Cameroun Gunmen showed up at the Hotel.
“The meeting started at around 5pm, Nigerian time. At around 7:30PM, the gunmen came into the Hotel and abducted all of them including the president.”
The Nigerian police and army have denied involvement in the alleged abduction.
The Cameroonian government has supervised a heavy clampdown on the group’s activities, with many of them being killed or arrested.
Many Southern Cameroonians have also fled into Nigeria to avoid the government’s clamp down.
The spokesman added, “The meeting was scheduled to discuss the Southern Cameroons Refugee crisis in Nigeria and to galvanise relief support for housing, medical and feeding in anticipation of the approaching rainy season.
“We call on Nigerian authorities to address this issue immediately and ensure that the Cameroun government does not do any harm to them. We also call on the Nigerian authorities to investigate this threat against its sovereignty by La Republique du Cameroun.
“We call on the Nigerian government to guarantee the security of the more than 20,000 Southern Cameroonian refugees in various camps in Nigeria.”