When guilt and shame prod us on

Many things in the world are caused by human consciousness and the obnoxious. The political landscape in Cameroon has reached an all-time low. Southern Cameroons reawakening has left stooges of the ‘ancien-regime’ spellbound and reduced them to become magic consultants striving to secure a remedy. Political intimidation, serial killings, seizure from homes; harassments have become physical phantoms living amongst the innocents. But as it is, this attitude when sandwiched with justice renders man made avalanche of political mumbo-jumbo nonsensical. The fear of the unknown is not an ingredient of those who look up to justice with clean hands. When a fight is more spiritual than physical, then, those endowed with higher graces wait patiently for retribution to engulf propagators of injustice.

Ngugi and Ngugi, in their book “I Will Marry When I Want” said, “an aging hero needs no admirers.” The Biya Regime is an aged one, so need no admirers; so, they should pack their bags and leave the Etoudi Seminary premises before they are caught by nemesis. This disgraced regime with their greater ambition programme topped by bribery, has dispatched a bandwagon of corrupt supposedly free from corruption elites to Anglophone Regions to placate inhabitants with retold lies.

We don’t need such erroneous delegations as their intension to preach reconciliation has missed its track and is bound by an imminent fiasco. Accompanied by certain broadcasters and other media workers mischievously out to defile the tenets of journalism and credibility expected by the media, they have still been unable to shoot on target.This is because conscious and educated people can’t be dissuaded from their believed ideology.
The worst war one can fight is a war against an intellectually pregnant community; who know their constitutional right. Many have come to believe that wars and dissatisfaction continue to reign because the door of dialogue has been shuttered by bribery and political intimidation. The evidences of these mishaps Cameroon is experiencing.

The so called elites who claim to be agents of Biya’s lamp in the various Regions are rather using the political brouhaha as a means to line their pockets instead of seeking solutions to direct the old handpicked scorn who needs prompt resolutions to quench the quenchless fire.

A year ago if the Etoudi stooges were told that Cameroon will one day be like this, they would have held press conferences, blighted with pride to castigate such ideas. But, today, the realities predicted by those with clairvoyance; free from myopic intransigence have proven their declarations authentic. Now, I understand what Winston Churchill in his Book, “The Bodyguard of Lies” said. ‘In wartime, the truth is so precious, that it must be guarded by a bodyguard of lies.” The Biya regime is making use of this doctrine pretty well, but how can you lie the author of his used words? Only within this period, even the senseless that never thought deep or got a second thought over this saga have started doing so.

Death is now as common as the air we breathe. Accidents seem to be a movie with episodes projected everyday for Cameroonians to watch. Who is to blame? The African mind will blame it on witchcraft.
However, understand this magic which had succeeded
for centuries but now had been brandished impotent in
the 21st Century. Nowadays, you have educational vampires in the positive sense of the word and not academic dwarfs coached into certain ideologies by the “big wings.”
The love of peace is not a sure sign of weakness
neither is it the inability to pick up arms. Genuine
dialogue can ease the tension, and not the amount of blood collected to renew ungodly calabashes.

By *Ntumfoin Fidelis Bongasey

*UB Journalism student

Harvesting the wrath of reckless governance

A stitch in time, they say, saves nine. Unfortunately, this admonition that counsels us not to subject what can be done now to procrastination that may eventually lead to avoidable danger diminishes in applicability when directed to governance in Cameroon.

This is to the extent that we have been sitting and watching how the emergence of a time bomb has been panning out without having recourse to tangible solutions that reflect mindsets of true patriots. We have consoled ourselves in the illusion that we have been insulated by cocooning capacity of ill-gotten wealth and disregard for the ordinary Cameroonian.

It could never have occurred to us that the yearnings of a portion of the polity that had begun more than 40 years ago had some basis in reality and so warranted appropriate attention. How could we have cared when we were being carried away by the trappings of intoxicating elixir from power that had been handed down by default? In the event, the necessity to ensure that such newfound helmsman status be used for the good of the commonwealth could not have arisen, given that there was no articulated agenda or manifesto at the time of ascension.

The correlating effect of this combined tragedy and comedy of governance under Ahmadou Ahidjo and, particularly, Paul Biya as represented above, has been, to say the least, traumatizing to Anglophones. In what has now turned out to be obeisance to neo-colonial edicts imposed on La Republique du Cameroun during the tumultuous rivalry between the nationalistic UPC and opportunistic UC, to lead Cameroon into independence, successive regimes have made Anglophone marginalization their governance credo. Which is why, even as far back as the Foumban Conference, French constitutional experts had been assigned the primordial task of ensuring that there was no match between Ahmadou Ahidjo-led La Republique du Cameroun and Southern Cameroons. At Foumban,  Ahidjo did not only succeed in planting seeds of discord among Anglophone politicians, but more deprecatingly, the road for the eventual assimilation of West Cameroon had already been traced with all the necessary road signs anticipated. The upshot of this indiscretion was the institutionalization of the one party state and prodded by the ease with which this had been attained; Ahidjo headed for the 1972 political coup d’état, euphemistically ascribed the epithet of referendum.

It is this adherence to the dictates of neo-colonialism that has led to recklessness relating to governance in Cameroon. All is done to ensure that the French have their way in Cameroon in exchange for elongated stay at the pinnacle of power. Surprisingly, the current regime sees more sense in allowing the French to cart away as much of Cameroon’s wealth more possible than barring them from access and thereby making available wherewithal for run-of-the-mill necessities like water, light, food and housing. No, Bollore must have 90 percent shares of CAMRAIL for a period of 30 years. Do not worry what the Government got in exchange for such largesse that borders on lunacy.

Yes, oil from Bakassi must be mortgaged solely, to the French for as many years as only a select clique in the country is entitled to know. Yes, we must allow the same Bollore to control more than 75 percent interest in the management of the Douala Port. Oh yes, we are this daft. Our children do not deserve any future as long as those of the ruling oligarchy have the possibility of lording it over the progeny of currently less privileged Cameroonians. They had risen from children of paupers and peasants to the governing class and by that token became inferior whitemen. With the whiteman’s departure they have automatically become the colonial masters.

However, as God does not allow evil to prevail over good, he slipped the Anglophone component into the boundaries of Cameroon and this has been the enfant terrible of successive regimes in La Republique. While admitting that Francophone culture disposes them to containment of excesses from ruthless regimes, the fact that the Anglophone component of the country, although indubitably in the minority, has been taking the lead in demanding more humane governance should have effected a change in mentality among the former much earlier than now. However, as the saying commonly goes, it is better late than never. And so, many Francophones are now in the fray to denounce not only poor governance but the unfathomable alienation being perpetrated against their own kind. With the resoluteness that has all along accompanied the quest for emancipation by Anglophones, Francophones have sighted in the former, viable and valiant partners in the project to effect a change in governance in the country.

This explains why despite all the brutality and barefaced resort to feudalism as governance credo that has sprung from Government, the youths particularly in Anglophone Cameroon have instead been radicalized to the point of daring combat ready soldiers. What began like a joke on October 1 when peace flower wielding youths dared armed-to-the teeth soldiers, is gradually turning into guerilla warfare. The news from Jakiri, Bafut and Bayelle Nkwen are not the least impressionable.

This time it was the turn of soldiers to lose their lives. The circumstances under which these gruesome murders took place are still hazy even as Government megaphone Isa Tchiroma Bakary has been quick to ascribe the heinous occurrence to Anglophone “terrorists of the secessionist” tribe.

While not imputing approval to such dastardly inclination, the fact that Government had shown very little or no sign of remorse relating to the carnage of October 1, must have courted retribution from aggrieved families and concerned Anglophones.

Whatever the situation, the question that has been permanently beckoning like green amber light on traffic is do we really deserve this avoidable mayhem that is now being constantly visited on our kith and kin? Should we be in this muddle to the point where our egos ride roughshod on rationality? It is the hope here that there are still traces of humanity that should cause us to retrace our steps into the right direction. Mr. President Paul Biya, the time for all- embracing dialogue is overdue. Stop this carnage! Whether from innocent soldiers, dying to keep you in power or daring Anglophone youths fighting for the emancipation of their compatriots the number of deaths are already appalling.

 

 

 

 

‘Dimabola’ stages another circus show in Church

If there were any reasons to harbour illusions of countering the recurrent contention that consummate lunacy has taken hold of the top brass of CPDM party, last Saturday’s Requiem Mass at the Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Buea Road Kumba – part of the obsequies of late Richard Ngu Njikam, certainly, dispelled such artifice.

Ordinarily, the presence of the CPDM during funeral activities in honour of one of theirs, who in our case, had attained the enviable positions of permanent resource person, Charge de Missions and Alternate Senator should have called for no raised eye brows. At least, there is always pride of place that should automatically accrue to it by virtue of its status of ruling party. This privilege leaves no one in doubt that it has the right to officiate during moments of sorrow occasioned by the loss of one of theirs. However, when such involvement raises the spectre of callousness to the animosity that a messenger can invoke owing to avowed illegitimacy among those he is supposed to shepherd, the upshot is chaos. This time around in the House of God by representative of a Government that has not been very adroit in its relationship with clerics.

Last Saturday’s event in Kumba tallies with earlier concern that had been raised on the pages of this newspaper relating to the criminal disregard for humanity by certain Government functionaries. Since no distinction has been made between the CPDM party and the current regime, there is no use imputing such when the issue to be addressed concerns one or the other. Concern then had been consequent upon the carnage perpetuated in the wake of September 22 peaceful protests and October 1 independence declaration by irate Anglophone youths cannot exit the memories of concerned Cameroonians this soon and calls the sanity of our governing class to question. Whether it is the CPDM or its executive wing that passes off for Government, the reaction to governance is the same.

Indeed, what had begun the previous evening with an unprecedented show of solidarity by friends of Senator Richard Njikam, during a well-organized and managed wake keep, witnessed uninvited scarring by Meme CPDM top brass under the tutelage of Benjamin Mutanga Itoe, Alternate Senator, CDC Board Chair, Coordinator of Meme Divisional Coordination Committee of the CPDM and Member, Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism.

Itoe did not content himself with mounting the rostrum and foisting his calamitous coldness to the presence of the Bishop of Kumba Diocese and other non CPDM dignitaries in Church but went further to rant for close to 20 minutes on issues that ordinarily should be discussed in joint section conferences of their party.

His persistence to make his presence felt at all cost via his ad-libbed eulogy, whose length was upsetting enough, attracted the ire of many who felt that he had crossed the bounds of tolerable indecency, and so began leaving the Church while he was still twaddling in the presence of a patient Bishop. This oddity, obviously, did not go down well with the authorities of the Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church who, unfortunately, were in front of a fait accompli and could not to that effect, intervene to stop the pompous CPDM Man Friday.

What is even most intriguing is the decision to intervene in Church. There was the opportunity to take their messages from the party hierarchy to the funeral grounds in Ikiliwindi, where it would have been read as part of the last intervention to the select crowd that had showed up. This way, no feathers would have been ruffled, given that the crowd was mainly constituted of family members and close friends who would not have been perturbed by such private issues.

However, the indiscretion of mounting the pulpit and without any consideration of the environment inviting CPDM Section Presidents and a Senator including Special Adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mrs. Bertha Ndoh, whom he obsequiously referred to as “Her Excellency,” to the chagrin of all who know that her position, as exalted as it sounds, does not deserve such prefix exuded pomposity and ignorance all rolled in one. Apart from the fact that lining up Section Presidents and other party dignitaries had conjured the image of school boys to be ordered around, their insistence on adorning party paraphernalia put off many who felt that the Church’s status as a sacred institution was being desecrated.

As if desecrating the institution of the Catholic Church was not bad enough, Benjamin Itoe, usurped the positions of Secretary General of the CPDM Central Committee and the Head of the Regional Coordinating Committee by speaking extensively in his own right before reading the speeches of his bosses, making them resonate as after thoughts or asides of no significance.This notion of surrounding himself with an aura of inflated importance seems to be as worrisome as it is recurrent among Anglophone politicians. Itoe, at one point in a meeting of Southwest elites had boasted that he has the most impressive curriculum vitae among active politicians in the Southwest Region. One has had to wonder about the job that had been advertised deserving such puerile outburst from a seemingly well-bred individual by status and stature. However, it is only here that CPDM politicians brandish their clout to their constituents by invoking how much influence they wield through acts of denigration to the persons of party adherents and sympathizers they consider potential threats to their current positions instead of fighting to ensure many more aspirants climb to higher rungs of the party and Government ladder.

Indeed, the display of arrogance and puerile leaning towards inflated importance by Itoe had been clearly uncalled for from a person who has in the last 35 years been in the limelight relating to one appointment or the other. However, since rationality is a commodity in short supply among CPDM chieftains, it is not surprising that the former Justice Minister had conducted himself in such impish manner. While admitting that his “Dimabola” inclination in the early nineties [he took to street protests against multi-party politics] had clearly indicated a proclivity to kowtow to the whims of Paul Biya, even if it had meant being blindfolded to the war front, Benjamin Itoe, as a legal mind ought to have drawn a thick line between state funeral and one wherein CPDM presence has to be barely tolerated as was the case in Kumba, where the opposition is in control of all the three Councils and Parliamentary seat. Itoe, apparently, has forgotten that his leadership of the CPDM in Meme Division still remains a highly contentious issue, especially, among young Turks who see in him a patriarch who should have retired to an advisory role instead of rubbing shoulders with valiant, viable and enterprising youths. Such lack of legitimacy forcibly explains why his uninvited appearance at the pulpit of the Buea Road Catholic Church, attracted so much discomfiture with many voting with their feet and leaving before the final blessing by the  clearly flustered officiating Bishop.

Oh, yes! We are local champions in Churches and among our kith and kin but cannot stand up for our folks when occasion calls for exhibiting bile and balls. For the avoidance of doubts, no one is advocating any play-down of the attributes people acquire while they had been alive. On the contrary, whether coming from the party, family, Church or other social groups, such affiliations need to figure strongly to portray the characters deceased persons had represented while they had lived and how much they had influenced their immediate vicinity positively and even negatively. However, what is of essence here is that the Church is not a place for self-aggrandizement or parade ground for our inflated egos. It is a sacred ground, reserved for those who have reverence for their Creator and not for those prodded by forces in the realm of the occult that blinds them from ascribing sanctity to humanity. This way, they conduct themselves as if death were meant for lesser mortals, and by that token, making it much less concern of theirs. No way! Except our CPDM politicians want to leave us with no doubt that theirs is a party undergirded by uncertified lunacy, they must rethink their approach to representation and conduct during public events otherwise, the sobriquet of irrationality of actions as is currently the case would doggedly stick to it.

 By Ngoko Monyadowa

 

Biya, there is life after power

During 57 years of Cameroon’s independence, the country has been ruled by just two individuals. Ahmadou Ahidjo spent slightly over 20 years as head of state and handed over to Paul Biya, aka “natural leader,” a euphemism for life president. His Excellency, it would appear, is very comfortable with having spent over half a Century as a civil servant, with a record 35 uninterrupted years as head of state.

Yesterday, Monday, November 6, work in Government institutions nationwide was stalled. Cabinet ministers and other ranking officials were traditionally expected to fan out to the Regions to oversea routine Biya anniversary funfairs.

CPDM adherents and other political hangers-on took to celebration grounds, flattering, ululating and hailing the celebrant with tom-tom drums. For very obvious reasons, heavily armed troops were planted in practically every strategic street corner in key towns of English speaking Regions. It looked as though they were defending the place against external aggressors.

At 84, Mr. Biya is being prodded on, by political zealots and cheerleaders, to run for yet another seven-year term, come 2018. A wee too much has been given to His Excellency during his 35 years in power. Whether Biya has given back even a tiny fraction of what Cameroonians entrusted him with is everyone’s guess.

Official media propaganda and calculated official spin notwithstanding, critical questions are being asked. Has Biya’s leadership been characterized by true service, love and sacrifice or by crass ineptitude, ethnic and Regional bigotry? Is there any intrinsic value in his mode of governance? If there has, then why the heavily armed troops at tax payers’ expense in every street corner even in the heart of his “second home” on what should be a celebration of his political birthday? Some have said he needs protection from those who love him.

Thirty five years in power, a mood of affection to his countrymen and women is clearly lacking in Mr. Biya. Each time he travels abroad for the lengthy, ritualistic “brief visits,” Diaspora Cameroonians rudely remind him that the country has gone under, collapsed under marathon ruling and ruining. They picket him, to vacate revenue sapping luxury hotels, head back home and handover. Yet, toadies will hear nothing of the old man stepping aside after more than a generation in power.

Our reports and analyses in this edition seek to establish that there is life after power. Patriotic Cameroonians want Biya to benefit from this fact and leave “before he is left.”

By Charlie Ndi Chia

Letter of love to President Biya

Your Excellency,

Welcome back to our skies, even as you have elected to spend more time on other shores than ours. I am sure that you have taken note of the drastic deficit in enthusiasm to welcome you from your numerous trips abroad. If you have not, be informed that the situation is so bad that sycophant elite from your South Region and other lazybones have had to rise up to the occasion and be drafted in to cajole public attention that people are still interested in your going out and coming in.

Mr. President, we are really worried about your eternal love for puerile indulgence in the luxury of rooms in European and American hotels. This does not only impinge on our lean purse that has been attracting the peering eyes of Bretton Woods  institutions, but more disparagingly, you seem not to be making any distinction between private and official visits. While admitting that representing our country at international diplomatic arenas had since graduated into contemporary statecraft requiring every sovereign nation to have representations in as many countries as possible, and why not international organizations, such emissaries, including you, not surprisingly, represent your interests instead of Cameroon’s. Mr. President, our concern here is the seeming lack of direct involvement you have brought to bear on Governance in Cameroon via your one too many foreign escapades.

Which is why, you, as the number one of everything Cameroonian; from Head of state to Head of lives, you appoint ambassadors to countries you deem friendly enough to perpetrate your  visceral inclination to power even when prevailing circumstances, indubitably, indicate disavowal by the citizenry? This ordinarily offensive disposition has, unfortunately, been heightened by a peculiar feature in your statesmanship that impels almost permanent incursions into the jurisdiction of diplomatic appointees. This way, you do not only render them uncomfortable, but make governance back at home pernicious and invariably, unproductive. Just imagine your last over 35-day stay in America and Switzerland! Imagine the heebie-jeebies that must have gripped Cameroon’s Ambassador to Switzerland, from being in the knowledge that you, with all your dictatorial proclivities had been in Hotel Continental breathing down his neck daily. That could have been next to hell.

Even more, important decisions that require presidential fiats are being ceaselessly directed to other quarters in the knowledge that you are perpetually not available. What is even more derisive in your demeanor is not just the fact that you spend much time abroad, but that such marathon sojourns have hardly borne useful fruits for the commonwealth. Framed in exorbitant hotel bills that your hirelings inflate to line their pockets and hired praise singers at home and abroad, your foreign trips constitute inexcusable drain on Cameroon’s economy whose insolvency is causing sleepless nights to financial experts locally and internationally. Since the centerpiece of your diplomacy is to be seen and heard even when what you say has nothing to inspire in relation to contemporary world power play, you carry your delirious self about oblivious of your frail physique barely supporting your 84 years.

In the event, it had to take the planned stop-over of the UN Secretary General on Cameroonian soil to chase you out of Switzerland. This puerile affinity for the ephemeral instead of awe-inspiring accomplishments like the Bakassi “Green Tree Accord,” unequivocally lends credence to hues from badmouths associating you with occult practices that immunize against concern for humanity. To this effect, while you were on the podium addressing a visibly empty auditorium at the United Nations Plaza in New York, Anglophone Cameroonians in the most spontaneous, simultaneous and intensified display of discomfiture over a system that had raised bestiality to sainthood, exposed your anachronistic, nay, sadistic statecraft to the world via peaceful protests back at home last September 22. As peaceful as the demonstrators had endeavoured to carry out their enterprise, regime toadies with atrophied notions of peace keeping still snuffed lives out of many. As counterpoise and in retaliation against what they had seen as betrayal of their long guarded secret employed to extort security budgets from state coffers, your apologists pounced on the opportunity to steal from, kill maim and rape with glee on October 1. On a Sunday for that matter! Yes, the September 22 riots had exposed unscrupulous administrators to you and the world that agitations from Anglophones have not been a matter of a few misguided elements. They are emanations from pent-up frustrations.

For 35 days you enjoyed the comfort of hotels in foreign lands while your country was boiling and heading for Armageddon. Yes, after the despicable carnage of October 1, massive arrests, looting, maiming, and unwarranted public provocations have been the lot of Anglophone Cameroonians. To this moment, many inhabitants particularly the youths of many towns in Anglophone Cameroon still endure the pangs of life in virgin forests occasioned by fear of being victims of programmed arrests and slaughter. Indeed, no fewer than 1000 youths are in detention in various parts of the Northwest and Southwest Regions. Apart from the atrocious conditions of detention, magistrates, both civilian and military have struck a gold mine in detainees from whom they extort money ranging from FCFA 25,000 to one million. Indeed, the issue of irregular detention has become favourite pastime for law enforcement agents who swindle each other just so that control over victims remains within their jurisdictions. Police, like magistrates, like prosecutors are all in the fray. Yet neither you nor any of the elected or appointed political elite from the Anglophone Regions has been bold enough to deprecate such carnage as had been unleashed on their kith and kin.

However, in their moronic acquiescence to anything you incarnate, they have found themselves saddled with the ungodly task of having to carry so called goodwill messages from you, who all along, have been making derisive utterances to their persons and shown no concern for their plight. The messengers themselves had since been disavowed, consequent upon overtly displayed repudiation of the Anglophone cause.  Who then had they been intending to address? As naïve as they are, they had forgotten about the African wise saying that counsels us to be nice to people along the road because we might one day be in need of their assistance. Surprisingly, Senator Pa Achidi Achu had not reminded them of his famous “scratch my back I scratch your own” political scam. These are very unpromising moments. While Musonge was preaching the indivisibility of Cameroon on the slopes of Mount Fako, Philemon Yang was telling whoever had cared to listen that you could not have been stampeded out of the comfort of Unity Palace in Yaounde to personally come to Buea and Bamenda and soothe the gaping wounds of Anglophone wretchedness. Musonge even proclaimed from his house in Buea that Southwesters are against secession! If he were to really mean what he said, his advice to you ought to be directed to a referendum that would allow the voice of the majority to prevail.

Whether you pretend not to know the truth, or not, one thing is certain and it is the fact that current occurrences in the country have exposed the depth of Anglophone despondence in a system that reserves no hope for them. The teams sent out with your so called goodwill message of peace, by their composition mandate and scornful reaction to their presence in the various localities visited are very telling of the abysmal illegitimacy that surrounds you and the remnant of what can be termed governing class in Cameroon. However, being essentially progenies of a species with integrity and humanity, we are still willing to give you benefit of doubt opportunity to redeem your erstwhile iniquities and this can only be done by sober reflection, devoid of any triumphalist posturing. It is obvious that the likes of Okalia Biali, Rene Sadi and Beti Asomo will be telling you that the situation is under control. No way! Mr. President, what they have planted is a ticking bomb that has no specified time to explode. And when this happens, there will be no Cameroon to run to because all what the current generation has worked for would have gone into ruins.

Considering the above scenario, which to all intents and purposes is very unpromising, you are hereby called upon to heed to this clarion call of convening a nation-wide meeting of all Cameroonians. This means that participation has to be as inclusive as there are interest groups. This exercise ought to have preceded the buffoonery that has just ended in the name of carrying goodwill message of peace to the various sub Divisions. Representations should be based not only on population but on it and the principle of contribution to the state budget. This way, the form of state and resource allocation based on derivation will come on board and a compromise reached on how to determine the form of state. Do not forget that the discussion ought to be between aggrieved Anglophones and a recalcitrant Government and not Anglophones and Francophones. This way we can begin envisioning the advent of a new Cameroon where fear and suspicion would have been consigned to dustbins. But before this, you must have ensured that all those responsible for the carnage of September 22 and October 1 are brought to book to face retribution. Over to you Mr. Biya!!!

By Ngoko Monyadowa

Posers for CPDM trouble shooters to Anglophone Regions

Fellow Cameroonians I am Dr, Simon Munzu speaking to you on behalf of the Anglophone Cameroon Dialogue Forum, ACDF. Today, October 16, 2017, I want to talk to you about the delegations the Prime Minister and head of Government has sent to visit the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions between 15 and 24 October 2017. This visit, according to a press release from the Prime Minister’s office is on the instructions of the Head of State.

It is now 12 months since the current socio-political crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon started. In these 12 months, many innocent lives have been lost, civil liberties have been eroded, property has been destroyed, the people’s economic activities and social life as well access to internet have been disrupted. When the territory of the Southern Cameroons united with that of the Republic of Cameroon on October 1 1961, to form a new state, the Federal Republic of Cameroon, they brought into this union of equal partners its own heritage in such areas as, democratic politics and governance, justice, education, public administration, maintenance of law and order, the economy, infrastructure and culture. In the light of this, the light of the Anglophone problem today, this has given rise to the current Anglophone crisis, lies in the facts that, for 56 years, this system has been purposely and systematically dismantled. For 56 years, Anglophones in Cameroon have been marginalized, dominated and subjugated.

They have the need to feel as a conquered people, as second class citizens in their own country. On October 1, 2017, and for several days after, state security forces used firearms against peaceful and unarmed civilians in towns and villages in the two Anglophone Regions, pursuing them in some cases even into holy places such as Churches and other places of divine worship. The dead are still being discovered, counted and buried in our towns and villages. No one knows exactly how many they are. The wounded and the maimed are still being treated. No one knows where, how, with what and by who. They disappeared are not yet accounted for. No one anywhere, knows how many exactly they are. The traumatized are still to be psychologically rehabilitated. No one knows how long this would take or who would pay for the care given them, for several months or even years.

Fellow Cameroonians, it is in the midst of all these that the Prime Minister and Head of Government decided to organize delegations to visit and commune with the population of the Northwest and Southwest Regions, as instructed by the Head of State. We want to ask the following questions: Mr. Prime Minister and members of the 13 delegations sent to all Divisions of the Northwest and Southwest Regions. During two full weeks of killing, wounding, maiming, disappearance of Anglophones and destruction of their property in your home Regions in the North and Southwest from October 1 to October 15, 2017, what did you do for your suffering people? You did not speak up for them; you did not protect them from the ravages of state violence; you did not even visit and commune with them until now, you were instructed by the Head of State to do so.

Should we conclude from this, that you would never have come to your own Regions in these circumstances if the Head of State had not instructed you to do so? Are you that unconcerned about the fate, suffering and hardship of your own people? How are the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions supposed to interpret the fact that, in 12 months of socio political upheavals, killings, wounding, maiming, disappearances, destruction of property and abuse of basic human rights, the Council of Ministers chaired by the Head of State has not convened even once to discuss this crisis. In 12 months, this crisis has not been discussed even once in any of the monthly cabinet meetings chaired by the Prime Minister who is an Anglophone. In 12 months, neither the Senate nor the National Assembly whose members are said to represent the people and most of which are dominated by the ruling party, including many senior ranking Anglophones has debated the Anglophone problem at any of its sessions. In 12 months, none of the governing organs has been summoned even once, to examine the Anglophone crisis.

Mr. Prime Minister, why are your delegations that are meant to visit and commune with all the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions made up exclusively of members or sympathizers of the ruling party the CPDM? If Cameroon is truly one and indivisible, why is your delegation made up of natives of the Anglophone Region alone? Are our Francophone brothers and sisters especially those of the ruling CPDM so unconcerned about the people of the Southwest and Northwest Regions that they would not want like you, to visit and commune with them? Honorable Prime Minister, if you consider the undeclared but very effective state of emergency that prevails in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, if you consider the high level of militarization, and if you consider the continuous lamentation of the people of these Regions, over the dead, wounded and the disappeared, what is the normalcy to which you say you and your delegation have been instructed by the Head of State to encourage these two Regions to return to? How do you and the elite accompanying you ensure that there are conditions for the return of normalcy in these two Regions? Do you have the power or the authority to do this? What dialogue do you propose to have with the people of the two Anglophone Regions? What would make the dialogue as you wish it constructive? If you and members of your delegation, being Anglophone, Anglophone Ministers, Anglophone Prime Minister, Anglophone office holders, Anglophone Senators, Anglophone Members of the National Assembly and Anglophone traditional rulers, if you dialogue with the population as envoys of the Head of State,  who then would represent the Anglophone people with this dialogue with you?

By the way, why are you the people dialoguing with the people of the Anglophone Regions? Are you in dispute with your own people? Do you have a problem with your own people which you hope to solve and resolve through dialogue? When it comes to dialogue over the ongoing Anglophone crisis, are you supposed to be the Head of State’s envoys to your suffering people or your suffering people’s envoys to the Head of State? Which is the agenda for this constructive dialogue as you call it, that you have embarked upon? How is the dialogue to be conducted? What is its expected outcome? How binding will its conclusions be? Would several delegations go to all 13 Divisions of the Northwest and Southwest Regions at the same time? What consistency would the content of the dialogue have across the two Anglophone Regions?

Honorable Prime Minister, could it be that this hastily conducted dialogue with the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions has been prompted by the need for the Head State and the Government to be able to report to some prominent personalities who are scheduled to visit Cameroon next week? That dialogue between the Government and the Anglophone people that was recommended by the international community took place between October 15 to October 24 2017? Honorable Prime Minister, for 56 years the people of Southern Cameroons, West Cameroon and now Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon have been asking for dialogue concerning their fate since the beginning of the union of their territory with that of the Republic of Cameroon in 1961. In over five decades, their call for dialogue has been systematically ignored by the ruling elites in Yaoundé who have called them unpatriotic, secessionist, extremist and of late terrorist and dogs. Now that the governing elites in Yaoundé appear to have accepted the need for dialogue, the people of the Northwest and Southwest believe strongly that the time for dialogue has come indeed. However, the only dialogue, worth having now is that which would lead us, to put an end peacefully and forever, to domination, subjugation, marginalization of the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon and their people by the governing elites in Yaoundé. In this connection, on Friday, October 13, 2017, the Anglophone Cameroon Dialogue Forum delivered a letter by email to the President of the Republic, calling on him to convene a national dialogue on the Anglophone problem and transmitting to him a document entitled “The civil society programme for the national dialogue of the Anglophone problem in Cameroon.” That document is now available for the wide population of the people at home and abroad. Prior to attending the national dialogue, the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions would meet in a preparatory conference reminiscent of the AAC 1 in 1993 and AAC 1 in 1994 which some may want to call AAC. In that preparatory conference, they would agree on the set of issues to be tabled on the national dialogue on the Anglophone problem which is expected to be convened by or with the instructions of the Head of State. They would also on that occasion designate the people to represent them at the national dialogue.

Fellow Cameroonians, our constitution stipulates that Cameroon is one and indivisible, but if this unity and indivisibility of Cameroon are to be more than just constitutional slogans, they must rest on the paradigm of one nation, two systems. Fellow Cameroonians, as I said in the beginning, I brought this message on behalf of the Anglophone Cameroon Dialogue Forum, ACDF. The ACDF is a civil society organization. It emerged in March 2017. As a network of Cameroonian individuals, and groups in Cameroon or abroad that are committed in finding a lasting solution to the Anglophone problem through genuine, frank, inclusive and comprehensive national dialogue. The network comprises of individual members of political parties, professional associations, women and youth groups, associations of traditional rulers, religious bodies and other interested parties.

By Dr. Simon Elvis Munzu

Chronicling criminal disregard for humankind

Not too long ago, the point was made here that an urgent need exists to rebrand Cameroon. This assertion is the outgrowth of coming to grips with current institutionalization of governance that hinges on discourtesy for human lives. Sadly, this deleterious perception of statecraft springs from a clan of ordinarily intelligent functionaries who brandish certificates from some of the best universities existent on planet earth.  How this came about is still enigmatic to many, but a cursory look at their modus operandi would reveal incursions into moral depravity occasioned by disregard for the yearnings of fellow Cameroonians. Grabbing seems to be the credo and any attempt to bar perpetuation of this newfound inclination to base avarice is stymied with remorseless brutality. Indeed, the intensity of contempt for humanity and the need for the peaceful coexistence gained over the years to trickle down to the rest of their compatriots is anathema. Which is why, this putrid acquisitiveness has in its wake engendered country-wide despondence and avoidable agitation in some portions of the polity. Hence the urgent need for rebranding advocated earlier.

As corollary, Anglophones whose exposure to British ethos underlined by rule of law began sending warning signals adumbrating their discomfiture in a system that has over the years been transforming them from partner to pariah. Unfortunately, because of the erroneous view that the political coup d’etat represented in May 20, 1972 referendum had legitimized annexation of West Cameroon by East Cameroon with whom they had agreed to enter into an entente of equal partners, gradual and systematic assimilation of the former and all it embodied was embarked upon by successive administrators, against wise counsel from West Cameroon leaders and some discerning Francophones.

Instead of pondering over these events and seeking lasting solutions to their root causes Government as usual sought solace in brute force; seeing itself as a leviathan prodded by the principle of man being wolf to man (apologies to John Locke, 17th century social philosopher). And where has this landed us. We are in a situation where arrogance,  ego pampering and illusions of grandeur have made the ruling class recline to the comfort of their cushions, hoping erroneously, that bayonets and obsequious military high command will ensure safety for their ill-gotten wealth,  their blood money. This way, their hegemony will be for eternity as their progenies would have been handed over relay batons by the time inevitable death comes calling. No way!

A new generation of Cameroonians is inching its way into public significance. That generation is the nucleus of the vanguard that is being steadily exposed to untimely but programmed death from the bestiality of a Government that has sworn to perpetrate its stay despite clear signs of having been disavowed.

That generation is incarnated by Anglophones who have decided that it is either a new Cameroon or nothing. A new Cameroon, where there shall be censure to being looked upon as sub-human. A Cameroon wherein their voices shall count and not be discounted as currently obtains. A new Cameroon where one man’s pronouncement is no more important than that of the sovereign will.  We are aware of the Herculean task ahead but not even the persistent resort to carnage as represented in last October 1 barefaced killing of dozens of peace flower-carrying youths will quench the fire of Anglophone spring in Cameroon.

The die is cast and there can be no turning back. Whether our Francophone brothers choose to partner with us or not, one thing is certain: come the next six months at the maximum, Cameroon shall never be the same again. Should our Francophone brothers join us in this inevitable journey to freedom land, then there might be room for coexistence in a unified Federal Cameroon. However, if they persist in their current ostrich game, and in that case, indolently watch our spritely radicalized youths wrest independence from Government in their secessionist bid, let them be aware that it will no longer be a partnership of equals but that of foreigner and citizen. The choice is theirs.

The ruthlessness of the Biya regime had started being felt as far back as when a pogrom was unleashed on alleged propagators of the April 6, 1984 botched coup d’etat. This atrocious attitude was visited on innocent citizens during the launching of the SDF and the state of emergency imposed on Bamenda in the wake of post-election tension in 1992. Undisguised disregard for humanity began embedding itself on President Paul Biya’s governance tenet. Admittedly, although inexcusable, the off-putting moments of the sixties warranted the barbarism of Ahidjo and the French on Cameroonian nationalists, the fact that the country has been experiencing relative calm, under Paul Biya, even if in moribund governance, relegates the current bloodletting fixture into the realm of malfeasance.

Furthermore, as if such atrocious brutality was a mere prelude, we were pushed into the oddity of “Bepanda nine” with its accompanying narrative of summarily executed young and vibrant Cameroonians and their subsequent burial in mass graves in Douala. On the heels of this a few years later, was to emerge one of the most dishonourable occurrences in the entire history of our country. The massacre of hordes of protesting youths across the country simply because they had been expressing discomfiture against a system of governance that had been making life increasingly unbearable through high cost of living and galloping unemployment.

However, the emergent political pluralism of the nineties brought into being a new vista in political perception by erstwhile indolent and emasculated people to whom  it began dawning that the ruling class had all along deprived them of natural and inalienable rights. The upshot was of course, predictable. The invincibility of the ruling CNU, later christened CPDM by Paul Biya, Ahidjo’s heir apparent, was momentously eroded and its impending overthrow lay bare.  Unfortunately for Cameroonians, political grandstanding by the Social Democratic Front, SDF, coupled with complicity and barefaced conceit from the likes of Bello Bouba Maigari, Augustin Frederick Kodok and Dakolle Daissala robbed the country of the closest opportunity to oust a regime that had begun its governance pilgrimage with rigour and moralization mantra only to end up with “ou sont les prevues?”   In the event corruption and election rigging to perpetuate opaque and ruthless dictatorship held sway and all attempts to make regime goons see reason in more accountable governance fell on death ears.

Having lived and experienced the remorseless brutality unleashed on Bassas and Bamilike by Ahidjo with tacit French support, many Francophones did not see of necessity to be part of vanguard agitation for a change in leadership in Cameroon. To make things worse, the well canalized plan via civil disobedience had failed, owing to hegemonic claims and ego pampering adventures that formed the fulcrum of thought in most politicians. Which is why consensus could not be reached and as denouement, Biya remained triumphant and persisted in foisting pebendalism on Cameroonians.

Be that as it may, whether it is accepted as being of the essence to our corporate survival or not, the impressions held of the governing class by visitors and those who sacrificed their sovereign will for Government’s existence, come to play monumental roles in the success or failure of any regime in acquitting itself of the responsibility to establish transparency, accountability and the rule of law as governance ethos. Of course, the responsibility of a Government towards its citizens is defined by the mechanisms put in place to ensure traceable milestones that can hold it accountable in the event of dereliction. Which is why, such signposts of accountability in governance have to be accretions from consensual, if not unanimous decisions arrived at after due consultation and stakeholder-wide dialogue. The aberration to the above contention happens to be the case in Cameroon and accounts for the current state of topsy-turvy that has taken firm grip of relationship between Government and Anglophones.

Holding Government legally responsible is in itself a function of the calibre of citizens that inhabit a country. If the case of Cameroon is taken as point of departure, the insight that readily comes to mind is alchemy of complicity, indolence, apathy and conscientization, all rolled in one.This has been at play in the last 56 years that underlie the reunification of East and Southern Cameroons.

The lore of dialogue

Dialogue as opposed to confrontation has always ended up the better option in conflict management. This holds good even for litigation where solicitors advise clients to place higher premium on out of court settlements than open court where victors are separated from vanquished. The thinking here is that most human beings are ego driven and the thought of having been openly humiliated either in court or war front does not leave room for unscathed reconciliation.

On the contrary it stokes embers of revenge and other adversarial contrivances intended to make good lost prestige or illusions of grandeur. From whatever angle it is viewed, dialogue is a better option to confrontation.

Even among young students in universities where the ideal has always been to fight to finish (aluta Continua, victoria acerta) there is the permeating proviso of three Cs, represented in Consultation, Consolidation and Confrontation. What this portends is that there must be every attempt to let the opponent see your side of the story before contemplating confrontation. In the event, head on collision is minimized, relegated to last resort. This perspective of conflict management makes what we are currently witnessing in Cameroon grossly dishonourable. It is so because there has never been any conflict without remote causes. Nipping the Anglophone crisis at the level of remote causes is what our system has failed to uphold in the illusory view that force should be employed as solution to all problems, inherent character of such crisis notwithstanding. With time, the crisis has festered to a point of demanding more circumspection than before. Hence the persistent skirmishes between Government and Anglophones.

Which is why, occurrences attendant to Friday, September 22 mass protests in Anglophone Cameroon are leaving no one in doubt that Government has completely shot wide off target in relation to what ought to have been the next steps. While the more volatile Northwest Region is regaining relative calm with business seemingly thriving, the Southwest Region is in anomy. Concordant information tells of mayhem in Ekona where senseless confrontation between forces of law and order and resolute youths of this notorious vicinity has left at least, four dead at the last count. Eyewitnesses recount that early morning raids have become customary and it is in one of such that the people were subjected to the indignity of being hauled half naked into waiting army trucks. The same scenario festooned Mile 16 neighbourhood in Buea when football aficionados in the process of savouring footballing exploits of Chelsea London and Athletico Madrid, were rudely deprived of their favourite recreation and ordered into waiting military trucks for onward movement  to Buea.

Indeed, no one is in the know as to why this recklessness in governance is fast becoming the norm. However, one thing is certain and it is us- and- them mentality that seems to have gripped Government functionaries, aggrieved by the fact that the immediate past mass protests have exposed the lies they have been telling the Head of State. The breadth, intensity and spontaneity of the protest matches belied the much bandied impression of Anglophone agitation being piloted by a few misguided elements wanting to credit President Paul Biya with less than deserved governance savvy. Yes, as they say in folklore, the wind has blown and the hen’s rump has been exposed! Some other contraption, therefore, has to be unearthed as face saving device. Unfortunately, being essentially constituted by one-track mentality species, the recourse these impudent administrators have had to gaining back their master’s confidence is to float the notion that they had not been wrong in their assessment of the gravity of Anglophone distress and, by extension, resolve to fight to finish.Hence resort to sham and illegal arrests to frighten potential fomenters of trouble into scampering for safety.

The mass protests of September 22 and undisguised determination to resist to finish exhibited by the youths of Ekona, alleged to have confronted armed state security operatives last weekend with catapults, stones and machetes, meaningfully, reveals the extent to which intransigence has eaten deep into the protagonists of the imbroglio pitting Anglophone irredentists against a cabal of derisive Government functionaries who actually run the country in the name of Mr. Biya. These Anglophone youths are apparently,  resigned to fate on account of Government tenacity to perpetuate Anglophone alienation instead of making palpable moves to bring into being lasting solution to this whole episode of Anglophone marginalization. The fear is that with this kind of posturing that radicalizes instead of instilling fear in our youths, we may be in for more senseless and outrageous killings on either side of the Anglophones/Government dichotomy. This is certainly not auspicious for our vision of a Cameroon that should be emergent by 2035. Emergence, in any case is a function of many intervening variables including, peace, justice, progress and stability.

Having painted the above ominous scenario, the hope would have been that our so called governing class sees need for utmost caution and tread softly on the issue of impending confrontation between Government forces and unseen apparitions of Southern Cameroon restoration Government to be formally installed in Buea on Sunday, October 1. On the contrary,discerning Cameroonians have been treated to embarrassing lack of hindsight and sycophancy relating to last Friday’s, hurriedly summoned meeting, ostensibly, by Regional headship of the ruling party, that ended up in opportunity for these otherwise respectable leaders of the Southwest Region, including serving and past ministers to be scolded and ordered about by the administrative head boy in situ. Oh yes, they have become hewers of wood and drawers of water in their ancestral land because of cheap and soured pottage. Instead of calling the Governor to order and letting him see the irresponsibility embedded in his gong-ho approach to crisis management, they sat there smugly to endorse highly provocative threats to their kith and kin.

These wags who pass off for elite have quickly forgotten the University of Buea incident in whose wake confusion arose relating to responsibility for the excesses committed by the forces of law and order deployed on campus. Of course, Okaia Bilai as Governor, wriggled himself out and put the blame squarely on then Vice Chancellor Pauline Nalova Lyonga, alleged to have prodded him through several entreaties to send wild troops into the campus. The same scenario is being waxed. How on earth would elite of the Southwest Region have converged on Mountain Hotel, Buea just so that an appointee, who ordinarily, should be schooled by them, turns around to be the maestro of their Region?  What if, some awry circumstances were to emerge on October 1 or the preceding days under Okalia’s bellicose gubernatorial edict, even as this is not the wish here? Would this not have been occasion for these per diem-chasing hirelings to tell this regional head of presidential dogs that the solution to the Anglophone problem lies in true, effective dialogue and that that is their considered prescription to the Head of State through the latter’s good offices?

Judging by the accounts of those present at the meeting, the “dog whistler” was swearing openly to kill at the slightest provocation as if would be victims that may be felled by bullets are not Cameroonians, let alone homo-sapiens.  They probably conjured images of stray pigs to be felled without qualms. When someone on temporary posting to a jurisdiction perceives in such assignment opportunity for self-aggrandizement and pecuniary gains instead of service to the people, a compelling need arises for the notion of governance to be totally reviewed and such irreverent functionary sent on remedial course to bring him up to speed with android age administrative prerequisites. This conceited approach is moribund, given that the world of feudalism had long been consigned to antiquity!

We must not allow our personal inclinations to acquisitiveness endanger lives of innocent Cameroonians. It is true the regime’s assailants have succeeded in eroding manhood from many of the fickle minded. However, we must always look up to God our Creator and, remember that judgment day is real and its prospect impels us to ensure our current actions reflect willingness to serve and not to be served. As the late sage, Mohandas Gandhi, aka Mathama, succinctly put it, “there is enough for everyone’s need but not for their greed.” Let us look at life from the perspective of being each other’s keeper; from the angle of classlessness, not master against servant. If Cameroon is supposed to be one and indivisible, then, there ought to be no us-and-them mindset as is currently being showcased by regime flunkeys. If we truly love this country as we purport, let us sit as brothers; Government and Anglophones, akin to problem solving in typical African village setting where everyone sits under a tree and palaver is stripped of its disruptive toga.

By Ngoko Monyadowa

Anglophones demand transparent and accountable governance

What has recently been described as the Anglophone uprising seems to have been over explained, often maligned, and even taken for granted? It would be better to say something altogether new since even most angry Anglophones in Cameroon do not understand the enormous historic tide they are swimming against and the nation-shaping results of their risk-taking and sacrifice.

Even the most obedient and mind controlled among Cameroonians have some inner suspicion that this country is blighted by tremendous problems; that a threat to our unity looms. Sadly, their only recourse is to support the very system of corruption and inertia that is itself the threat and it is like doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.

How MPs and Senators sell their People for 30 pieces of silver.

Those who suffer the highest today under oppressive regimes may not know that their one companion is darkness. Their eyes are looking up to men whom they elected to speak on their behalf in kangaroo parliaments deceiving themselves that help will come from there. The so called MPs and Senators in many places do not represent anyone but their stomach constituencies. They consistently ignore the people’s plight.

Many Cameroonians are insisting that our elected representatives must teach themselves to defy dangers, and even death, to bring their people salvation. Symmetrically almost all our Honourables, like Judas Iscariot do not hesitate to adopt bills that do more harm than good in as far as their mouths are oiled. It seems that during legislative sessions, MPs and Senators wine and dine with rapacious politicians until they get drunk before speaking with Government agents about how they could betray their own people and receive slush money or some other messy pottage. Jesus Christ clamoured despondently: “but look the one who betrays Me is here at the table with Me.”

Elected men in reality should be friends of the people, fighting so hard for their own people, not even fearing to die for them. But this is not the way it is, especially in Cameroon. Our country particularly has remained in the whirlwinds of poverty and oppression because those who were meant to be the watchdogs of society, the guardians of republican ideals, and the voice of the voiceless have elected to be selectively and conveniently dumb.

Men have graduated to tin gods because of power and those who were to be ever present to listen to us are always unreachable. Needless to say that it is almost impossible to seek an appointment with the godly Senators, MPs and very busy mayors as everyone seems to have forgotten the meaning of service.  Our country could have been better if our hitherto deified leaders were true servants of the State and its people. Today and so painfully, the paradigm of service has been forgotten and looking everywhere one sees so clearly that in all directions, in low and high places, men are paid much money for sitting down to eat and doing no work, while the one who serves truly can only manage to eat breakfast meant for dogs.

Watch out and don’t be a fool forever. Many men claiming to speak on our behalf only speak for themselves. They align with the people only when they need them and misalign with them when their people need them and even denying taking the cup of suffering away from their own flesh and blood. And always it is with a kiss that most Senators, MPs and Mayors betray their people. At each session, only God knows how many times they have denied their own people even before the rooster crowed.

The level of unquestioning obedience and outright reverence to the Biya regime has managed to impose on the legislature, the judiciary, the press and the armed forces, largely without direct force is incredible. In the end, the Government would announce that two and two makes five, and you would have to believe it either by persuasion, cajolery or coercion. It was inevitable that Anglophones should take to the streets sooner or later. Not merely the validity of experience of living in Cameroon, but the very existence of military men all over suggests a certain degree of subjugation. The heresy of heresies today has become the Anglophone question. And what is terrifying is not that they would kill you for thinking differently, but that they might be right for killing you.

As someone has said, it is not distance that separates men. It is rather the silence of honest men in the face of injustice, man’s wickedness on man, betrayal, hypocrisy, envy, pride and fat lies. Where are the good men and where are the men of courage? Where are you true fathers of the nation who understand the motto: peace, work, Fatherland? For keeping silent all these years, our elected representatives have made it clear to all and sundry that deliverance for Cameroon will arise one day from somewhere else while they slumber like metal gates left to rust. Anglophones like Oliver Twist may be asking the Government of Cameroon too much in recent protest marring the country’s two English Regions, but we must weep bitterly and not laugh when police and Gendarmes knowingly fire live bullets at unarmed protesters even when they are described as extremists. Can we ever forget that although He was impeccable, Jesus the Christ shared the fate of criminals?

Some elected representatives will read this and agree with it, yet make no resolve to make Cameroon a better place, but they must understand that they are accountable to God for the position of influence they have received. Our MPs and Senators can choose to slumber during crucial parliamentary deliberations and present the miseries of their people only as subsidiary issues. As they have gone on singing hymns of praise and clapping their hands for a failing regime, these men have simply squandered their own chance to leave behind a Godly legacy for the next generation, with actions that evidently lack eternal value.

When will the time come in Cameroon for Senators and MPs to openly and frankly tell Biya that cuts must be made in Government spending since there is no reason why Directors General of State Corporations and Ministers and all those in Government who are not productive should be allowed to go on wasting tax payers’ money on expensive cars, building big private mansions here and there and making expensive trips abroad almost all the time while employment, education, environment, health, social security and transport are ignored.

Cameroon needs Senators and MPs who will clearly tell those in high places that their lavish life styles can no longer be accepted when truly, Cameroon has settled at the bottomless pit as a highly indebted poor country.

By Solomon Lyonga Ikundi

Cowardly and Complicit carnage!

Gradually, the spectre of genocide and /or civil war is taking shape in our polity. This apparition, ordinarily a complete stranger to the Cameroon of yesteryears is fast becoming a fixation in our daily ontological escapades. In just two weeks we have witnessed scores of vibrant and in certain cases innocent youths felled by bullets of drafted trigger-happy troops. There have been precedents in the likes of February 2008 nationwide riots, or Bepanda 9, particularly, in Yaounde, Douala, Yaounde, Kumba, Bamenda. However, their point of convergence is limited to spontaneity, simultaneity and breadth. While the one was a nationwide strike against high cost of living, the latter has been spearheaded by irate Anglophones wanting their pound of flesh from a system that has for over half a century subjected them to undeclared annexation and feudalism. Be that as it may, the Sunday, October 1, carnage particularly, in Buea was, from every indication premeditated, uncalled for and condemnable in all its material particulars.

While chastising the audacity of the unarmed youth in daring the armed to the teeth soldiers, a very huge temptation immediately arises to question why such combat readiness had to be deployed against peace flower brandishing youths.  Oh yes! from Bakweri Town to Buea Town, behind Mount Mary Hospital and finally the Golgotha of the day, Bongo Square, the carnage snuffed life out of many unfortunate souls to the point where two days later corpses were still been retrieved from nearby bushes behind Mount Mary Catholic Hospital. What a shame!

The unwary youths could be seen congregating in the vicinity of Sandpit Transformer Number 1. Teeming youths spiced with men and women of ages ranging from 35-55. There was a mixture of anguish and determination in them. Somehow, they had succeeded to trick the troops who had come in to frighten their vanguard by shooting in the air to believe that their apparent dispersal translated into a no show. How wrong they were. In less than five minutes a sea of heads estimated at no fewer than 300 had reassembled and was headed for Bakweri Town to eventually confront combat ready soldiers at Bongo Square parade ground.

Death could be smelled as they thronged the road oblivious of the coldness that had been instilled in soldiers on the prowl, via apparent instructions to shoot to kill. The apparition of carnage had engulfed the atmosphere. Only a few days earlier, the Chief Regional administrative head had sworn to kill in a meeting ostensibly convened by the Regional headship of the ruling party. It came to pass. The resultant carnage has been captured by a nurse who passed by around, 5pm wailing and cursing a system which she accused of institutionalizing murder.

Yes, combat ready soldiers had been commanded to shoot on sight – and shoot they did. The times are very unpromising. Indeed, we are sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss of irreverence for human life. We are blindfolded; we cannot see why an alternative solution to brute force is ultimate in our current circumstance. We must waste lives to be seen to be purveyors of a “one and indivisible Cameroon.”

The anger in our youths has been palpable and understandable. They have been pushed by unbearable arrogance and insensitivity to their now meaningless existence and a slant radicalization that is exposing them to early deaths from the bullets of gullible sadists. In their naiveté, they believe that Odeshi (Igbo word for protection against fatality in gunshots) would bar live bullets from penetrating their frail bodies. How wrong they are; this explains why from Mamfe, Kumba, Ekona, Buea, Bolifamba, Bamenda and Kumbo the story is the same. Bullet ridden bodies, some mutilated by proximity aims, adorn mortuaries.

Government reaction of course had been predictable! Business as usual after, bullets felled some “stray pigs.” Tchiroma’s casualty figure was so blatantly doctored, it shamed common sense.

How else, can this be characterized, if not as premeditated and complicit carnage. This contention is buttressed by the fact that last Thursday the crème de la crème of the Southwest Region was summoned peremptorily to Mountain Hotel, Buea and bullied into endorsing carnage that was to ensue three days later. Although the official agenda of the meeting was to ensure hitch-free commemoration of October 1, it turned out to be an opportunity for Government lackeys to wrest endorsement of murder from this so-called elite. And endorsement it got.The result is what now numbs our collective conscience. Government blustering has been translated into carnage and few, very few are bold enough to blow the whistle against such outrage. Instead of schooling Government on the need to tread softly by opting for dialogue in lieu of brute force, frightened perdiem-chasing elites sat smugly and listened to an avoidable riot act being read to their progeny.  Yes they will have plenty of explaining to do when arraigned before the courts of public opinion and prosperity.

Such an immeasurable cowardice can only be seen as complicity from mindsets that prioritize pecuniary gains rather than service to one’s kith and kin. The kind of complicity that blinds us from the fact that we are alive today, thanks to tomorrow’s prebend. This ought to have imbued us with a spirit of classlessness and concern for posterity. We ought to be asking ourselves what will be our legacy after bungling recurrent opportunities to right the indignities our co-pilgrims to the land of emancipation have been enduring for 56 years and counting.

Nevertheless, solace is inherent in the fact that oppression and brute force have their limits. The continuous radicalization of the suffering masses is only prolonging the crises, and, extending the breadth and intensity of wrath against emasculation. In the circumstance therefore, not even the acclaimed oppressor would be said to be having the swell time expected to accrue from ill-gotten, blood stained wealth and decimation of the commonwealth. They will not recline on their luxurious conclusions. They will be victims of the people’s unquenchable anger.

By Ngoko Monyadowa