The Paramount Ruler of Obanliku Local Government Area (LGA) in Northern Cross River State, HRM Uchua Amos Item, urgently seeks assistance as rebels from neighboring Cameroon unleash havoc upon Belegete, a community in Obanliku.
Ambazonia fighters from the southwest Cameroon Republic infiltrated the mountainous Belegete community on December 5, 2023. In their destructive wake, they abducted over 40 Cross River indigenes, claimed the life of Clan Head Chief Francis Okweshi, and took control of the area.
Expressing deep concern, the monarch highlighted that the displaced residents remain unable to return due to extensive damage inflicted by the Ambazonian rebels, who razed numerous houses. Despite reaching out to nearby army and police commanders, the challenging terrain has hindered security agencies from immediate intervention.
The paramount ruler explained the logistical difficulties, stating, “The army could not immediately access the Belegete community because of its challenging topography. It takes over six hours from the famous Obudu Mountain Resort to get there by descending the mountains into the deep.”
He added, “Okada riders charge N35,000 to travel there. So it was very difficult for our men to descend to the place to rescue our people.” While reports indicate that the insurgents have abandoned the community, they left destruction in their wake, burning houses before fleeing.
In a plea for governmental intervention, the monarch emphasized the need for a sustained presence in Belegete to prevent future invasions by armed insurgents from Cameroon. The area, characterized by its challenging accessibility, lacks government amenities, making it imperative for immediate attention to prevent further isolation and vulnerability for the Belegete community.
Given the history of how the Europeans invaded Nigeria and Cameroon, brutally colonising and disrupting the native cultures of both lands for hundreds of years, it is difficult to confirm if allegations against the English speaking Ambazonian insurgents are factual