Over twenty four hours after the Kidnapping of 20 students of the University Buea South West region of Cameroon, nothing has filtered from the security service on the where about of the students.
Residents of the town of Buea and other neighboring towns testify having seen military helicopters during the evening hours of Wednesday flying in a suspected search mission.
The vice chancellor of the University of Buea has confirmed the incident to a CNN correspondent.
To professor Ngono Horace Manga, armed men took away twenty students that were training ahead of the University games.
According to the head coach of the University of Buea football club, the situation is a traumatizing one.
In a telephone interview with Mimi Mefo Info, Nicolas Asongu states “…I had an accident on Tuesday and I was not suppose to attend the training session on Wednesday, the day of the incident.
Students who witnessed the incident only informed me later. They said armed men arrived the field and ordered the players to go with them.
The kidnappers later called me demanding money before the release of the students but we are still negotiating on the possibilities of their release without payment”.
The Post, a Buea based newspaper in its Thursday March 21st publication has reported that the kidnappers are demanding the sum of four million francs cfa as ransom for the release of the students.
At the moment, seven farmers have been arrested in connection to the kidnap. Esungwe Christian a son of one of the women arrested has stated:
“My mother and other people were working on their farms situated not too far from the scene of the kidnap. So when the military men came in search of the kidnappers, they arrested all them. They are under detention at the judicial police station in Buea”
Why the Kidnap?
No group has officially claimed responsibility of the kidnap of 20 students of the University of Buea as of now. Despite this, there is a general perception that the act has been carried out by Anglophone militiamen called the Ambazonia boys.
They have been fighting for the restoration of Ambazonia statehood since 2016.
As one of their key strategy to press for independence, the fighters have since 2017 called for the closure of all schools in the North West and south west regions of Cameroon as a means to paralyze the control of the government of Cameroon on the two restive North West and South West Regions.
The kidnap of the 20 students is the highest number taken from the institution since the beginning of the crisis but this is not the first time as two other lecturers were kidnapped from the campus and later released.
Buea remains a battle ground between the amba boys and the military as the restorationists hold that conquering Buea will mean the attainment of independence from the Republic of Cameroon.
The government has maintained that it is not ready to engage a dialogue platform with what it called “terrorists”, despite ceaseless domestic and international pressure for an inclusive dialogue.
President Paul Biya and his government believe that effective decentralisation (which has failed for over twenty two years), is the solution.
Meanwhile opposition leaders like Barrister Akere Muna, Doctor Christopher Fomunyuy, Edith Kah Wallah have underscored the need for a dialogue on the form of the state.
Dominic Meme Nwakimo
Mimi Mefo Info