There has been an unprecedented desertion of major streets in Manyu Division of the South West Region since the declaration of war on the ‘Anglophone secessionists by Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya.
For over 48 hours, the young and old, poor and rich, tall and short alike have been spotted with their baggage on their heads, scampering into neighboring Nigeria to seek refuge in that country.
The situation is further exacerbated by widespread news that the Government has dispatched armed troops to the Division to crush those who have been slaughtering military officers.
On Saturday and Sunday, over 15 military trucks filled with armed troops were seen heading to Manyu Division. Such military razzmatazz came less than 24 hours after the Senior Divisional Officer (SDO) for Manyu, Joseph Oum II, signed a Prefectural Order, declaring Manyu as a military red zone.
In his Prefectural Order, Oum II earmarked 15 villages in the Division and advised the denizens of the villages to vacate their ancestral sites else they will be treated as terrorists by the uncompromising troops.
Even though the Prefectural Order was further rubbished as fake by the Governor of the South West Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, the Manyu population heeded the SDO’s warning and took to the heels.
It is therefore not surprising that the locals of Otu, Agborkem German, Esaghem, Nsanarakati and Eshobi among others which were already declared as military red zones are the ones fleeing their homes as the troops have been instructed to “mop up the “terrorists”.
It is reported that over the last 48 hours, some 10,000 Cameroonians have arrived the Cross River State of Nigerian where over 40,000 Cameroonians are already being hosted as refugees.
The military invasion of Manyu is testament of the fact that Government refused to listen to the request of the Chief of Ekok, Enow Cyprain and that of Ossing, retired General Tataw.
Both traditional rulers appealed to the powers that be to guarantee the safe return of Anglophone refugees in Nigeria in a bid to stop the killings of military officers.