As elections loom in Cameroon and as the Ambazonians reinforce their threats that the said elections will not hold in the English-Speaking regions, which they have declared theirs and renamed ‘Ambazonia’; as news reports keep coming through highlighting the high human costs of the ongoing conflict; as English-Speaking Cameroonians find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place, one would have thought that the focus of every Ambazonian and Cameroonian will be geared towards finding long-lasting solutions to the problem and easing the burden it has imposed on the ordinary citizen.
Unfortunately, this seems not to be the case. As the dust is gradually settling on the scandal which exposed the leaders of the Ambazonia movement fighting over funds raised in Washington DC, a new scandal seem to be brewing. This is alleged to have been over an oil deal that was set up with Ayaba Cho Lucas in London.
Videos are circulating on Social Media showing the Commander in Chief of the Ambazonia Defense Fores and President of the Ambazonia Governing Council Dr Ayaba Cho Lucas, being challenged by some people who appear to be from the same English-Speaking regions of Cameroon.
In one of the videos, Ayaba Cho is being accused of plotting the abduction of Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, the President of the Ambazonia Interim Government. Tabe and some members of his cabinet where abducted on the 5th of January 2018 at Nera Hotel in Nigeria, and have been supposedly held incommunicado by the Cameroon government since then.
Ayaba is also accused in the videos of falling for a trap set by his interlocutors, who claim to have posed as contractors willing to sign an oil deal with Ambazonia. While there is clearly no evidence in the videos to support these claims, it has nonetheless led to many people questioning the character of Ayaba Cho Lucas. Among these and other accusations, questions are raised as to why Ayaba’s forces have been attacking other Ambazonian forces on the ground.
As is to be expected, there are many who have come to his defence, some claiming that it is a setup by agents of the Biya Regime. Others, including his Wife, Li Ayaba, have argued that it is a setup by what she calls ‘Virtual Internet Government – VIG’. She concludes that her husband has a clear conscience and that he was under the protection of God. This defence received some acclaim from fans and followers, though some took the opportunity to challenge Mrs. Ayaba.
One of the commentators accused the whole family and tagged them thieves, questioning why one person would want to sign an oil deal on behalf of 8 million people and without consulting the other leaders.
This scandal, whatever its merits may be, has further deepened the mistrust and rifts that exist between the leaders of the Ambazonia movement. As tensions intensify in Cameroon and as the death toll increases, with the number of internally displaced persons reaching an all time high, it is imperative that there is some semblance of unity of purpose among the front-line leaders..
A few days before the commencement of what is simply known as No Circulation strategy which forbids movement within the English-Speaking Regions, this situation further casts a gloom over the prospects of those facing the brunt of the crisis.