Strong indications have emerged that Nigeria’s neighbour, Cameroon, is not cooperating with the country in the efforts to stop the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and its borders.
Investigations on Friday revealed that the Cameroonian government had issued a directive to all its military commanders in charge of border areas with Nigeria to keep all critical information about Boko Haram away from Nigeria.
In the directive which was obtained by our correspondent, Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Mr. Rene Emmanuel Sadi, reportedly told the commanders to withhold crucial information about the insurgents from Nigeria.
Sadi, had in the letter with Decree no …G/D/MINATD, with the title, ‘Strong Message’ addressed to the Commander, Rapid Intervention Brigade, noted that Cameroon did not want the grave security situation in Nigeria to spill over to the country.
He stated also that information on Nigeria from western countries portrayed Nigeria in a negative manner.
He charged the Cameroonian forces to be vigilant along the border to prevent further spill over of Boko Haram violence into the country.
The minister said the Cameroonian Head of State, Mr. Paul Biya, had charged all the units to ensure that activities of the insurgents were not allowed to get into the country.
The letter read, “As you are aware of the security situation in the country, and the impending turmoil/danger coming from our neighbour, Nigeria, you must keep all important information regarding the Islamic sect under your control without sharing all the information with Nigerians.
“We do not want the situation from our neighbouring country to spill over to our country.
“Information from our Western friends portrays Nigeria negatively.”
A security source further told SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday that only 200 soldiers had been deployed in the areas where the Francophone country said it had deployed 1,000 soldiers to secure its own side of the border.
Further investigations revealed that the Chief of Defence Staff of Cameroun had relocated to the North of the country to keep critical intelligence away from Nigeria.
When contacted, the Director, Public Communication department, Ministry of Foreign affairs, Ahmedu Ogbole-Ode, said he was not aware of that Cameroon was not cooperating with Nigeria in the campaign against terrorism, adding that he did not know that Cameroon had ordered its security personnel not to work with the country.
He said, “I am not aware of the content of the letter, in fact, I’m hearing it from you for the first time. I cannot comment on the level of cooperation between Cameroon and Nigeria unless I get the necessary information from our mission in Yaounde.”
The Cameroonian Mission in Nigeria could not be reached for comments on Friday as calls to the office was not responded to.
When our correspondent contacted the Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade, he said the Nigerian military was willing to collaborate with all bodies willing to aid the fight against insurgency in the North-East.
He said, “The Nigerian military is disposed to cooperate with anyone who is an ally in the fight against terrorism within the country, the sub region and anywhere.”