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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The 'Igbo Scare' in the British Cameroons, c. 1945-1961
Author:Amazee, Victor B.
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:British Cameroons
mandated territories
Ethnic and Race Relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/182769
Abstract:On 11 February 1961, the southern part of the British mandate in the Cameroons voted, by a large majority, to leave the newly independent federation of Nigeria and join instead the Republic of Cameroun, successor-State to the French mandate. A major factor in this plebiscite was fear of Igbo domination in trade, education, public and private sector employment, politics and social life. Igbo had begun to move into the Cameroons in the 1920s, and by 1955 there were nearly 10,000 Nigerians in the two southernmost divisions of British Cameroons, most of them Igbo or Ibibio. This immigration had been facilitated by the fact that, ever since the League of Nations had assigned mandates over the former German colony, Britain had administered the divisions of Victoria, Kumba, Mamfe and Bamenda as part of southeastern Nigeria. With the approach of independence, local resentment against the immigrants strengthened demands for an end to the Nigerian connection. There were indeed some grounds for this resentment, but politicians actively exploited ethnic stereotypes. As a result of consistent Southern Cameroonian resistance to any relationship with Nigeria, the Southern Cameroons became part of the Federal Republic of Cameroun on 1 October 1961. Notes, ref., sum. in French.