By Evans Abang in Yaounde
Cameroonians are on the throat of Norwegian authorities questioning why they granted their nationality to one of the leaders of ‘Ambazonia’ in the Diaspora, Ayaba Cho Lucas, accused of committing several atrocities back home in the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West regions.
They wondered aloud how a reputed country in morality like Norway could descend so low as to take such an embarrassing decision to grant Norwegian nationality to Ayaba Cho Lucas, generally and rightly considered as the architect of all the atrocities committed in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon for the past three years.
While many Cameroonians in particular and human rights activists in general are still to understand the move by Norway to protect Ayaba Cho Lucas, others have not hesitated to state strongly that Norway has through the act soiled their nationality. Those who hold this view have argued strongly that Cho Ayaba “has bloody hands as he has personally killed or ordered the killing of innocent Cameroonians”.
A citizen who did not want to be named questioned that “Is Norway comfortably sponsoring human right abuses in Cameroon by protecting the commander of serious human right violations? He continued that “If Norway did not do any background check of their new citizen, Cho Ayaba Lucas, then they should do that immediately and save face in front of the international community by withdrawing their nationality from him.”
Who is Cho Ayaba Lucas?
Born on August 25, 1972, Cho Ayaba Lucas hails from Mankon in Bamenda II subdivision in the North West Region of Cameroon. He was admitted into the University of Buea in 1993 and was later expelled because he led a one-man protest on campus. Thereafter, Cho Ayaba is said to have morphed into an “opportunistic activist” and has since then exploited any given opportunity to either make fast cash for himself or embolden his popularity. Apart from allegedly duping so many Cameroonians before fleeing to Norway, Cho Ayaba is also accused of having masterminded many cases of rape, kidnaps, torture, arson and killings. In Norway, it is alleged he pretentiously read human rights in the University. “Ironically, he is considered the first violator of human rights,” a concerned Cameroonian said. He is also accused of having duped unsuspecting Cameroonians abroad to sponsor himself for a PhD programme in London, although many doubt the credibility of the said PhD.
“And before he graduated, he was gallivanting around the world in borrowed robes, calling himself a PhD holder,” another concerned Cameroonian noted. Cho Ayaba portrayed himself as a gold digger when he flew to London alone to sign an imaginary oil deal with some foreign investors. Another smart Anglophone in the Diaspora tricked him into the bluff. It shows that his interest is to make money for himself while others die on the ground. When the ongoing socio-political crisis in the two English-speaking regions began, Cho Ayaba swung into action and became the Secretary General of Southern Cameroons Youth League. He created the dreaded Ambazonian Defence Force and is the commander-in-chief.
The Ambazonian Defence Force carried out the first guerrilla attacks on September 9, 2017, which was the first armed action that has engulfed the North West and South West regions, resulting to numerous untold atrocities. In July 2019, Ayaba Cho Lucas declared that his forces were controlling 80% of the two English-speaking territories. Cameroonians say Ayaba Cho is responsible for all the atrocities that have led to the death of several soldiers, gendarmes, police officials, chopping off of fingers of teachers and CDC workers, rape of girls between 12 to 17 years old, civil servants, civilians, the burning down of schools, hospitals and the destruction of roads.
Cameroonians argue that if Norway truly values human rights and the right to education, they should withdraw their nationality from Ayaba Cho in order to allow him answer human rights abuse charges at the International Criminal Court.
He is reported to have earned a doctorate degree on Wednesday July, 10, 2019 from Middlesex University in England, yet is the person who has called for school boycott in Cameroon and is using terror to enforce his decision.
“If he is apprehended and tried, children will without fear of death threats anymore, freely go back to schools in the North West and South West regions so as to better their lives, those of their families, their communities and their country tomorrow”, concluded an educationist.
Atrocities attributed to Cho Ayaba and his militia
The Ambazonian Defence Forces, commanded by Cho Ayaba Lucas, have been accused of setting ablaze schools, hospitals, destroying private property, kidnapping teachers and students, extorting huge sums of money from business operators, brutalizing some, beheading others in a bid to stop schools from operating. On February 5, 2017 Government Technical High School, Barombi-Kang was burnt down, while on May 17, 2017, GHS Kumbo was razed to dust. Equally on March 9, 2017 GSS Barombi-Kang too was burnt down. July 28, 2017 saw the burning down of the administrative block of GHS Kembong. This was followed on July 31, 2017 by the gutting down by fire of GHS Afab. On September 20, 2018 a locally fabricated bomb exploded in a classroom in GTTC Bonadikombo in Limbe I subdivision.
On January 19, 2018, the administrative block of GHS Balikumbat in Ngoketunjia division was burnt down. This was followed by the burning down of the girls’ dormitory of St Rita’s College in Nkambe on January 23, 2018. The students only survived because they had moved to the refectory. Cho Ayaba’s militia is also accused of having attacked the teachers of GSS Mbeta in Nguti subdivision and many of the teachers were wounded. And on January 29, 2018 more than 50 machete-carrying “terrorists” stormed GHS Bangem and chased away students from classes. This led to total panic and school-going children in the entire division deserted schools. On February 1, 2018 armed hoodlums broke into Seat of Wisdom College in Menji, Lebialem and held hostage three Reverend Sisters teaching there. February 21, 2018 was bloody as “terrorists” kidnapped and assassinated Ejolle Patrick, the Head Teacher of Government Primary School Etam, accusing him of collaborating with government authorities. On April 10, 2018 “terrorists” stormed schools in Ngussi and Nyassosso in Kupe-Muanenguba division and on April 25, 2018, Ashu Thomas Nkongho, Discipline Master in GBHS Kossala in Meme division, was assassinated in school. Mrs. Enanga, Principal of GBHS Buea, was kidnapped on May 25, 2018. Since 2019, Ayaba Cho’s boys are said to have multiplied their atrocities. Recently, they are accused of having burnt down the Kumba District Hospital and a pregnant woman, who was in the hospital, was burnt alive. They are also accused of having beheaded a teacher in the North West region, beheaded soldiers, cut the fingers of CDC workers and the fingers of a teacher in Bafut whose mouth too was severely severed to prevent him from teaching.