The growing trend of kidnappings and brutal killings which have quietly crept into the unfortunate conflict between the state of Cameroon and “Ambazonians” no longer presents the image of a civilised people that we obviously have been known to be.
We in this Newspaper therefore consider it pertinent to join the rest of the world to condemn all acts of kidnapping and gruesome killings and raise our voices loud in calling for an end to hostilities. After almost five years of this senseless war, we think enough is enough. Honour so demands, that we rethink our errors and let reason prevail.
The crux of the matter, however, lies in the fact that, there is no justification for anyone or, a group to engage in this unholy and in-human venture of kidnapping and demanding ransom from people. It sounds even more unjustifiable if such acts are perpetuated by the very Ambazonians who claim that their cause is founded on the principle of self determination and that they are fighting to liberate their people, who sympathisers strongly believe have suffered years of marginalization.
The list of cases of kidnapping is long since the breakout of this conflict. Prominent personalities, including politicians, traditional rulers and even men of God have fallen victims to acts of kidnap. Perhaps the most sadistic of these cases is the kidnapping of six delegates of a number of government ministries in Ndian division upon whom huge sums of money was demanded as ransoms for their ultimate release. As if this was not enough, they went ahead and brutally killed one of the delegates.
The intriguing thing about this particular incident is that, of the remaining five of the kidnapped delegates, nothing has since been heard about them after the killing of one of them. It is saddening to see how much human life is being toyed with and wasted out of share greed. The latest case of kidnap is that of the Vicar of Mamfe, Rev. Father Julius Agbortoko.
We are in a state of war no doubt, and in such situation all types of crimes are committed. Ordinary hardened criminals can take advantage of the on-going conflict and look for any little opportunity to infiltrate the ranks on either side of the conflict for their personal gains. We are certainly not holding brief for anyone. But it could be likely that there could be some truth in this presumption.
Whichever way we look at it, the brunt of the present dilemma lies on the hands of the Ambazonians and they should work much harder to prove to the world that they are not the perpetrators of this trend. They are bound to prove their innocence in all that is connected to the recent trends of kidnapping and gruesome murders of the very people they claim to be fighting for, in order to liberate them. This is our humble plea as we join others to seek a quick means to put an end to the conflict. Peace is by all means more glorifying than war.