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Nigeria, Cameroon May Clash OverBokoharam

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1Nigeria, Cameroon May Clash OverBokoharam Empty Nigeria, Cameroon May Clash OverBokoharam on 1st March 2014, 10:03 am


There are strong indications that Nigeria and Cameroon
may clash over Boko Haram as the Federal Government
accuses Cameroon of harbouring members of the
militant Islamic sect.
Saturday PUNCH learnt on Thursday that the Federal
Government was becoming increasingly frustrated by
the refusal of Cameroon to cooperate with Nigeria in its
efforts to combat the militant Islamic sect.
A top source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who
confided in one of our correspondents in Abuja, said that
President Goodluck Jonathan would report Cameroon to
relevant agencies in the United Nations.
Part of government’s strategy is to adopt the policy of
hot pursuit, whereby Nigeria’s military will chase the
insurgents into their hideouts and flush them out while
those in the diplomatic circles will continue with
Saturday PUNCH learnt that this was one of the reasons
why Jonathan canvassed that countries should be
allowed to chase fleeing terrorists to other nations while
addressing fellow African leaders during Thursday’s
International Conference on Human Security, Peace and
Development: Agenda for 21st Century Africa, in Abuja.
He had asked his colleagues to, as of necessity, change
their collective approach and work closely together to
confront and defeat the purveyors of hate who do not
respect borders and boundaries.
He said, “Our architecture must recognise the fact that
trans-border criminals don’t respect boundaries while
law enforcement agencies are compelled to respect our
international boundaries,’’ adding, “There must be
compromise on this if we must wipe out criminality and
trans-border crimes.
“While we respect our national boundaries, terrorists
move in and out of our borders, it’s now time that we
should agree as African leaders that an act of terror
against one nation is an act of terror against all
In a veiled reference to Cameroon, the President said,
“We must not allow our countries to become safe
havens for terrorists; we must cooperate maximally
beyond political boundaries and adopt protocols that
allow other countries to pursue terrorists to their safe
havens in other nations.
“While we cannot redefine our borders we can redefine
our collective approach in fighting trans-boundary
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the Federal Government
was of the view that since the joint commissions had
not yielded any positive fruit, it should start looking
towards a new direction.
“The best option is to involve the military and use the
policy of hot pursuit,’’ a foreign ministry source noted.
The Federal Government believes Cameroon has a
history of harbouring criminals that use its territory to
destabilise Nigeria.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the Federal Government
was aware of Cameroon’s unexplainable indifference to
Nigeria. One of the sources said that as early as 1906,
northern Nigeria suffered from violence orchestrated by
religious leaders whose roots were in northern
It was further learnt that the Federal Government was
disturbed that Cameroon, unlike Niger and Chad, had
been providing a safe haven for fleeing Boko Haram
members in northern Cameroon.
Nigeria’s frustrations were echoed by President
Goodluck Jonathan, who during the last presidential
media chat, made a veiled reference to contacts being
made with Cameroon over Boko Haram.
According to a source, the 1906 Mahdist rebellion in
Kano has an imprint of such pseudo Islamic teachers.
The source recalled that Mallam Muhammadu Marwa,
better known as “Maitatsine” a Fulani native of Marwa,
in northern Cameroon, was driven from the northern
commercial city of Kano back to Cameroon by the Emir
of Kano in 1962.
He further noted that Maitatsine returned to Nigeria in
1966 as a Quranic teacher. “Marwa remained in the
country recruiting and indoctrinating gullible young men
until he led an insurgency in the 1980s,’’ he added.
Commenting specifically on the Boko Haram insurgency,
the source said, “From all indications, there appears to
be an unwritten understanding between the sect
members and Cameroonian security for


hmmm! security for... What?

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