Ayaba Cho says Nkambe bomb target was Hon. Ngala

By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Separatist movements pushing for the separation of English speakers from majority French-speaking Cameroon have claimed responsibility for the explosion that killed one person and injured dozens of others at the Nkambe grandstand in the Donga Mantung Division of the North West region on Sunday February 11.

The leader of one of the separatist groups, Lucas Ayaba Cho, president of Ambazonia Governing Council (AGovC), has claimed responsibility for the blast that occurred as thousands of school children gathered to celebrate the 58th National Youth Day.

Lucas Ayaba Cho says bomb targeted Hon. Ngala Gerard, not school children

In a live video on his Facebook page, Ayaba Cho said their target was the Member of Parliament for Nkambe, Hon. Ngala Gerard who was home to celebrate the day with the young people of his constituency.

“For the past two weeks, we have been on the trail of Ngala Gerard…We missed him by a whisker today [February 11, 2024], but we can promise you we will get him,” Ayaba Cho said in the video.

Ayaba Cho commands the Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF), one of the separatist militias fighting against government to create an independent English speaking country they want called Ambazonia and made up of the two English-speaking North West and South West regions.

They had imposed a three-day lockdown on the regions and urged people to stay at home from Saturday February 10 to Monday February 12.

The separatist leader said in other parts of the region like Jakiri and Tatum, their fighters succeeded to enforce the lockdown and disrupt the celebration.

Seemingly celebrating what happened in Nkambe, Ayaba Cho shared a picture of some of the victims on his Facebook page a day later with a message describing them as being stubborn.

“We sent a clear message to our stubborn civilians in Nkambe,” he wrote. “We are at war. If the international community want, let them sanction us. We are tired of begging them to come to our help,” the separatist leader wrote further.

The improvised explosive device detonated in an area where hawkers were selling foodstuffs, sending shockwaves through the town. The incident occurred two hours after the Youth Day parade by school children and youth groups, according to authorities.

On Tuesday, the body of Cherish Lemnyuy Bonge, 15-year-old student of Government High School Nyanji, who was the unfortunate person killed in bomb blast was coffined and handed to her family for burial. The corpse was later transport to their native Kumbo in the Bui Division where she was interred.

Meanwhile, four other victims of the blast who were in critical conditions have been evacuated to Mbingo Baptist and Bamenda Regional hospitals for proper medical care, according to sources on the ground.

The blast, the first in the town of Nkambe since the drawn-out crisis started, has attracted widespread condemnations both locally and internationally.

The Governor of the North West region, Adolphe Lele Lafrique has said some suspects have been arrested in connection with the blast as Nkambe, once an eldorado of peace, remains on high alert.

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