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How Nigeria’s first prime minister predicted what people of Southern Cameroon are facing today

The English-speaking southern region of Cameroon is currently experiencing a government crackdown over its attempt to secede from the country citing a lack of development and negligence  of the region by the central government.

The current situation is one that was predicted in 1961 by Nigeria’s first prime minister,  Sir Tafawa Balewa.
He made it clear to the people of the region during his January 22, 1961 plebescite speech that choosing Cameroon over Nigeria is a bad choice.
“On the one hand you can choose certainty and security: an honourable status as an integral part of
a big nation in Africa with your future assured,” he said.
“With Nigeria, you can look forward to sharing in the tremendous economic development of our country, to sharing in the massive schemes for expanding education to an extent hitherto beyond our dreams, and to the social benefits which we are now beginning to enjoy…
“If you vote against Nigeria, I cannot see how you can avoid living a life of poverty and hardship, and under the constant shadow of violence which the Government cannot control. You will be putting yourselves in a country which as different laws and a completely different attitude towards life.”
The current condition of the people in the region perfectly fits Tafawa Balewa's prediction.
On Monday, January 29, 2018, the Nigerian government deported 49 members of the Ambazonian movement seeking independence of the region. A gesture the Cameroonian government appreciated and seek further corporation with Nigeria.
Cameroon’s communications minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, praised Nigerian government for taking this step. Issa said: we “will never tolerate their respective territories serving as a base for activities that destabilise one or the other.”
Read the full speech of Sir Tafawa Balewa here.

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