The Social Democratic Front, SDF, Member of Parliament, MP, for Mezam North Constituency, Fusi Na’amukong Wilfred is disappointed with the way unarmed civilians are battered by the military unchecked. The politician also thinks Cameroon’s National Day, May 20, should rather be a day of mourning. He was addressing the press in Bamenda last week.
Responding to queries as to why the SDF was rather lukewarm about May 20, celebrations, Na’amukong said the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions couldn’t be celebrating while thousands are in bushes; many separated from their families, some on exile and others internal refugees.
“When the crisis started, we, SDF MP’s marched in Buea and Bamenda and exposed the Government to adopt meaningful solutions so that all of us can be able to chart the way forward. Unfortunately, the Government has given deaf ears, only trying to use force. Those arrested were unarmed civilians.
“When he came to Bamenda, I asked the Prime Minister about the shutting down of internet. I asked him why people arrested are carried to Yaounde to be tried in a military tribunal. I am shattered by the atmosphere. I am in very bad shape. I cannot go for celebration when others are not comfortable.”
Alluding to history, Hon Fusi said two states came together. “1972 is when a unitary state was declared through a referendum. After that we became La Republique. Did you organize another referendum? How could you change things without coming to us? People are crying. Why can the Government not listen?
The MP blamed the Government for responding to the populations cry only when things get out of hand. He said it is only when people cry that Government realizes that there is a problem. He cited the creation of a section of ENAM for English Law, the redeployment of teachers and creation of the Polytechnic in Bamenda as too little, too late.
“These are babyish solutions. Why not come to the people and talk to them? They are your people. We belong to this country. The people are not happy; they are in pain and that’s why they cannot celebrate. The SDF decided that those who felt like celebrating could go ahead and that is why some of our members celebrated and others went out to protest.
“We are treated like third class citizens. People are tortured, raped. As a politician, I am not happy. Imagine that we live in a situation where people complain and they are arrested. I was in Mbingo and they complained that the military entered the hospital and mercilessly beat up the gateman because he couldn’t understand French. The whole hospital was in chaos.
“Houses are burnt. I don’t favour those who commit crimes or ambush the army or those who attack civilians but when crimes are committed, why not carry out an investigation. Civilians whose rights are violated have nowhere to report because the military are being supported for vices. In Bafut for example, over 30 bikes have been burned. I personally carried out an investigation. I am in a very terrible mood. There should be no celebration when people are mourning. It should rather be a national day of mourning.”
The MP wondered why Biya and his regime are indifferent. “You are aware of the fact that when this crisis started, we thought that dialogue was the best option but then, the president declared war against his own people. How can you declare war against your own people who are unarmed? By so doing you force them to go and look for arms to start fighting back. I cannot support the killing of gendarmes, neither would I support the killing of civilians. They are all Cameroonians. What future are we building for the nation when the younger generation of both military and civilians is being killed? Any country that has no young generation is bound to perish.
“We need a common platform where people would sit on and talk. Nobody should be left out. Why not even bring in a third party. The Government should also think of compensating those who have lost property. Every family has been affected. Let the Government do something and do it fast. We used to be a peaceful and lovely country but now it is chaotic. Let’s revisit the constitution and turn a new page in history.
“It started in 1961 and 11 years later, the constitution was changed. What is happening that we cannot change it again and start a new page to do what the people want? The use of force cannot resolve the problem.”
On the international community resolving the problem, he said a sovereign state is a sovereign state, adding that Cameroon should be able to solve her problems.
“We can invite others to come but I don’t believe that the international community can do more than what we in the nation can do. If those in exile, the Diaspora and those called secessionists are called back to sit round a table and dialogue, I believe we can solve our problems.”
He said his party’s leader, Ni John Fru Ndi has written more than four times to the Head of State. “He explained what meaningful dialogue is. That it’s not the PM coming to Bamenda five times and dictating what people should do. We are in a learned society now and you don’t expect people to just sit down and listen. Why can the Government not order for the release of everybody?
“We are bitter and believe the state has the yam and the knife. He branded the Musonge commission because as he put it, most of those who were appointed into it are those who said there is no Anglophone problem.”
By Mildred Ndum Wung Kum