A Nigerian intelligence official on Sunday denied arresting Cameroon separatists in Abuja, after its members said its top leaders had been “abducted by gunmen”, AFP reports this morning.
Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, the president of the Anglophone separatist movement in Cameroon, was arrested during a meeting on Friday, January 5, in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja, according to a statement by the separatists.
“At around 19:30, the gunmen came into the hotel and abducted all of them including the president,” said Chris Anu, secretary of communications of the Interim Government of “Ambazonia”.
It is alleged their arrests came as a result of school resumptions in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. Last year Mr. Ayuk Tabe had informed that classes will resume from the 8th of January 2018, but it was not certain after the Interim Government announced ghost towns from Mondays to Wednesdays because of the loss of lives and property in Mamfe, South West Region.
Conflicting reports after the arrest of Ayuk Tabe
Local news reports in Nigeria and Cameroon said Mr. Ayuk Tabe had been taken into custody by the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria’s intelligence agency.
But the DSS denied arresting Tabe in Abuja, saying instead that in late December they arrested Cameroonians in eastern Taraba state who were suspected of being involved with the separatist movement.
Hours after the secretary of communications of the Interim Government said they were abducted by gunmen from Cameroon, other members of the Interim Government forwarded messages on social media that they were arrested by the DSS.
Uncertainty after arrest
It is uncertain where Mr. Ayuk Tabe and his top leaders are. But Cameroon’s Vision 4, a renowned TV station aired on one of its programs live yesterday that they were headed to Yaoundé meaning ‘they should have arrived Cameroon already.’ The rest are speculations on social media, which remains unconfirmed.
Cameroon’s state media’s twitter handle mentioned their arrest yesterday in two different tweets;