The National Defence College (NDC) recently held a Roundtable on Foreign Policy and National Security. The event was specifically design to highlight the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon and the security implication to Nigeria. The Anglophone regions of Cameroon have been engulfed in struggles for self-determination from the government of Cameroon since October 2016. A total of about 50 participants were drawn from Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the Roundtable at the NDC. The objectives of the Roundtable with the theme ‘’ Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon’’ were to review the trends in Nigeria- Cameroon relations and the dynamics of the Anglophone crisis, identifying its implication to Nigeria’s national security and interest and drawing lessons for Nigeria from the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. Other objectives include, identifying roles for MDAs, and proffering policy options for Nigeria’s response to the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon.
The Commandant NDC while delivering his remarks during the Roundtable, emphasized that the event was specifically dedicated to understanding the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon with the initiative designed to aggregate the thought process from MDA’s on occurrences in the international arena, that have implications for Nigeria’s national security. Rear Admiral Osinowo urged participants during the Roundtable to interrogate issues arising from the influx of refugees from Cameroon including the challenge of managing the growing number of refugees which has risen tremendously within the past few weeks. He reiterated that Nigeria and Cameroon are troops contributing countries to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) of the Lake Chad Basin Commission engaged in the fight against the Boko Haram in the NorthEast. Additionally, he said, the Navies of both countries are engaged in Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS to enhance maritime awareness in their respective maritime domains and also partners in strengthening security in the Gulf of Guinea. The Commandant further said that shared international borders have proved a critical factor that defines the thrust of bilateral Relations between Nigeria and Cameroon. The Commandant reiterated that timely measures could be taken to abate infiltration of aliens into the country.
A total of 3 technical Sessions were held to discourse the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. In the First Technical Session, Ambassador (Dr) Godknows Igali, former Consul General of Nigeria Consulate in Buea SouthWest Cameroon, dealt intensively on Historical Antecedent of the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon focused on the period from 1961 to the outbreak of the present crisis in 2016 and drew lessons for Nigeria. Ambassador Igali commended the Commandant NDC Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo and the Provost Centre for Strategic Research and Studies (CSRS) NDC, Ambassador (Dr) Chijioke Wigwe for their foresight in bringing up the discourse on Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon at a timely period, especially now that the country is faced with the challenge of insecurity. Consequently, Dr Ena-Emeka Okereke, Head Department of Area and Regional Studies, (CSRS) NDC delivered the topic entitled ‘’Nigeria-Cameroon Relations in the wake of the Anglophone Crisis: Dynamics, Threats and Opportunities’’. Also, interactive session was held and constructive views were made to address the issue of the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. The Session was chaired by Dr Mohammed Ahmad mni, Director, National Boundary Commission. Similarly, technical reports to address the issue of the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon from MDAs were collated before a communiqué was drawn.