The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has reportedly formed a coalition with a separatist movement in Cameroon in the areas of training for combat operations and arms exchange.
While IPOB, through the Eastern Security Network (ESN), is fighting Nigerian security forces to establish the Biafra Republic in the South-East, the Ambazonian War of Liberation (AWL) and Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) are pushing to break away from Cameroon.
The leadership of AWL announced that they have established a relationship with IPOB towards pursuing a common goal of political and economic liberation on April 10, 2021, Daily Trust reports.
Also, Nnamdi Kanu and the leader of AWL, Dr Lucas Cho Ayaba, have indicated plans to work together in the struggles for their two regions, according to a recording of a Zoom meeting posted on social media, which was shown by the IPOB leader.
“We are in the know of what is happening…We are closely monitoring,” a security source who did not want to be named, said.
“There is a link between them because the Ambazonian militants are offering training to IPOB members,” another source said.
An analysis by Foreign Policy showed that the two groups agreed to “work to secure their shared border and ensure an open exchange of weapons and personnel.”
In the agreement of IPOB-Ambazonia, whose leaders both Kanu and Ayaba are spearheading the insurrections from abroad pledged their determination to forge a close alliance and accelerate international attention to grant them the right to self-determination from their mother countries—Nigeria and Cameroon.
They noted that people in the two areas are allegedly subjugated to oppression and underdevelopment, which was worsened by colonialism and neo-colonialism. Noting that the trend was to keep the entire African continent under subjugation.
“Over the years, our grandfathers and grandmothers have stomached this terrorist proclivity, with the hope that somehow, it would go away. But it is clear to us that after so much turning of the other cheek as well as payment in blood, these bullies never ever became reasonable. Instead, it has emboldened them. This is part of the reason Biafrans and Ambazonians are coming together. We are coming together to rediscover our shared biological and cultural heritage.
“So far, even though our struggles for freedom have shared different trajectories, Biafrans and Ambazonians have a shared destiny. Our collective destiny is once again to lead the continent of black Africa to achieve the type of civilisation that humanity would marvel at, just like our Bantu ancestors did when they civilised the whole of the known world around them.
“In the coming days, we the Biafrans and Ambazonians would be communicating to the world in sequence as the need arises, our blueprint for cooperation, preparatory to the re-emergence of our nations,” he said.
While, Ayaba said the relationship between their people dated back in history, recalling that the people, who were originally part of the Eastern Region, in 1961, moved a motion at the Eastern House of Assembly in Enugu to re-join French-speaking Cameroon with their regional capital in Buea.
“As you have said, we are one people, inter-culturally linked. But I also want to remind Ambazonians that I take your concerns seriously. That is why an alliance is split into three phases. There is the need to ensure that both people are liberated from the tyranny imposed on them and to establish within them a transitional period method of collaboration and cooperation to dismantle the economic blockade that has impoverished our two nations.
“And within this period, there will be massive consultations within Ambazonia to ensure that any treaty that would be binding on the two nations would be approved by the Ambazonian people,” he said.
According to Daily Trust, findings show that people from the English-speaking part of Cameroon, the home to the agitators for the Ambazonian state, have always had an easy passage into Nigeria because of common heritage with Nigerians from Cross River State.
There have been reported concerns over a possible link between the rise in violent agitation for self-determination by IPOB militants and the connection they established in Cameroon.