Curfews, brutal repression fuelling Anglophone fury

Many an Anglophone, it could be said, see Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai, as a villain, with hardly any human feelings. The Governor’s paymasters or those he strives to satisfy on the other hand, construe him as astute and strict. Political opportunists are cashing in and reaping cheap benefits by siding with what Okalia represents.

But whatever the case, the Regional administrator’s brash utterances and actions in recent times are, to say the very least, hurting the very interests of those he purports to govern and pretty hurtful to the socio-economic life of the Region under his rule. And the fear is that the man’s high handedness and intransigence might, in the long run, beget boomerang consequences, gravely compromising a peace that has become very elusive.

Proof is: the day land and sea borders between Cameroon and Nigeria were closed at the level of the Southwest and Northwest Regions, traders were stuck with perishable merchandise at the Tiko wharf. A cargo boat that had anchored was about transporting the vegetables to Nigeria. The Governor ordered that the boat returns to Nigeria unloaded. Even entreaties to the effect that the goods be off-loaded from the trucks and sold locally were refused.

As a consequence, 700 baskets of fresh tomatoes got rotten. Thousands of water lemons also got bad and were thrown away. The owners wept and counted their losses while the Governor apparently counted the political gains he had made for the regime and his career.

Impoverished commercial bikers

Even as citizens of the Region are yet to recover from the carnage inflicted on their relatives and loved ones on September 22 and October 1, his gubernatorial edict prohibiting the movement of commercial motorbikes from 7:00pm – 6:00am has occasioned confiscation of 10 more bikes in addition to over 50 earlier seized after their owners were adjudged to have violated the law. This, in the reckoning of the Governor is in a bid to reduce what he has dubbed terrorism perpetrated against the forces of law and order by barbaric extremists hiding amongst the population.

The Governor’s edict has totally disregarded the important role commercial motorbikes perform in the community transporting people from one interior neighborhood to another and the discomforts that come with the absence of such services in the country. Since the curfew was placed on commercial motorbikes, the population of Buea has been challenged, trekking from one place to another, especially in the evenings. Even old people are forced to trek long distances at night due to the absence of bikes. Bikers, who dare go against the curfew and pick up passengers out of pity, have often fallen prey to the Government dragnet.

According to a biker at Muea who gave his only name as Evaristus, 50 bikes were seized last month and have not been released since then. In continuation of the constant seizure of bikes, Wednesday, November 22 saw another seizure of about 10 commercial bikes that were still plying the streets after 7:00pm. He stated that some Gendarmes came in mufti and pretended to be passengers.The few of his colleagues who fell for the bait had their bikes apprehended. Evaristus narrates life with and without their bikes. He also explains how he as a biker feels about the curfew prohibiting their activities from 7:00pm. Read him:

“It is through commercial bikes that we are able to pay our rents, feed, take care of our wives and children. In a day we can make a profit of FCFA 10.000. Most often we receive more customers as from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. So saying that we should halt our activities as from 7:00pm is really not the best. We are greatly affected by this. I think that 9:00pm could have been a better and more convenient time for us to stop business, not as early as 7:00pm when the business is at its peak.

“There are neighbourhoods in the outskirts of Ekona not frequented by taxis. Natives from such villages prefer using bikes owing to the adaptability and convenience of this mode of transportation. Most often they come to town to either sell or buy. When it is evening we always have so many of them scrambling to get a bike. And now with the curfew, it is worsened. Most often when we are unable to transport all of them before it is 7:00 pm, those left are found in a situation where they have to trek very long distances. We pity them but cannot do otherwise because we could fall victim and our bikes apprehended.  Hence it is not just affecting us but the whole community.

“Before now, I used to save some monies. But the curfew has dealt a devastating blow to me; I am now forced to go into my savings just to meet up with my daily needs and that of my family. I need to pay all my bills because the various companies are not interested in knowing if I am viable to pay the bills or not.

“Just this act of the Government has already corrupted the society.The number of bikes which have been apprehended is even uncountable. The lives and hope of people are lying in the cold in some institutions. The economy is already grounded. They are in their offices giving orders for bikes to be apprehended forgetting that it is the life of another.

“Worse of all is that, we don’t even know when this disturbance to our businesses will come to an end. We are dying and suffering but the Government has no interest in the life of commoners like us. We of the bike sector are plagued with so many challenges. It seems the Government is bent on handicapping us. From various controls at night demanding for money and also with various curfews placed on us.

“I am begging that the Government should look down on us with pity. Even if the Government wants to kill or execute us, at least they should give us water on our dying bed. We are soaggrieved and even feel discouraged working at such times because the time for us to work is not favourable. They themselves don’t go to bed at 7:00pm. So why do they prevent others from working at that time? It is just commercial bikes. Don’t taxi drivers and even private cars transport criminals too? They are on the contrary gradually turning some bikers to criminals since they have so many needs and yet no job to fend for those needs,” Evaristus lamented.

Even denizens have condemned the impoundment of commercial motorbikes, pointing to the devastating effects on the economy, social life of the people, insecurity, the upgrade of crime and difficulties moving from one place to another in the absence of such services.

According to Ngong Cletus businessman, there exists a very high rate of unemployment in the country. To him, at the moment when young boys in the neighborhoods have taken up the initiative to make a living out of riding commercial motorbikes to support their families, a curfew is placed for them to halt their activities by 7:00pm.

“That is when their business sector is booming. I think the authorities placing such order are not in any way doing good to the society. They just want to render our young boys hopelessly jobless. Very soon we’ll start hearing of theft here and there because they need money. It is already affecting the economy. Thieves are not transported only via commercial bikes; taxis and private bikes also play a role in transporting criminals,” Ngong stated.

Security forces as the people’s enemy

Since the beginning of the Anglophone problem, security forces have not in any way rested peacefully. The programme of those undergoing training has been halted and they have been deployed to the two English speaking Regions for maintenance of law and order. Our source, an Anglophone Gendarme whose identity we have retained for security reasons told us his experience as a gendarme at this period of crisis.

“As a gendarme officer at this time of the country when the atmosphere is tense, especially in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, I am going through tough times during this period. Those in these Regions regard us uniform men and gendarmes in particular as enemies since we are those at the fore front.

“Personally as a gendarme, I am disgruntled about all what is going on. The gendarmes have painted a very negative impression to denizens whereas, we are the ones to protect them and bring peace to the society.  It is rather unfortunate that, we are seen as a nuisance to the public. That is why whenever some denizens see us, they either run and hide or scamper into safety. It is a very challenging moment for us because some of us left our sites where we were posted some five months back and came to Buea for a mission. At this moment I am speaking to you, most of us haven’t seen our parents or family for the past six months. If things were normal, I would have been with my family. We are even prevented from calling our loved ones or visiting them. It is so challenging because as gendarmes, we don’t have that freedom.

“Moving into the neighbourhoods in our uniforms is what we cannot dare to do. We are afraid of what may befall us in the neighbourhoods. Remember that some gendarme officers were killed in Bamenda as a result of that. We now walk in Binoms (in pairs) which is not supposed to be so. We are supposed to interact and share with the people, fight for the people but the scenario has changed since this Anglophone problem. On the contrary, we now hide from the people as we cannot move freely. I am not at peace with all these, which is why I am pleading with the authorities to rectify the problem because not just civilians are dying but the military too are being killed.

“Imagine one assigned to guard a school for five days, turning around the same spot from morning to evening. We are so vulnerable, exposed to so many hazards. Many gendarme officers have lost their lives while guarding an institution. Despite all odds, we have no choice but to do it since we work for the Government.

“We have been faced with so many embarrassments in attempts to buy food. Most often, business people run away from us that we are their enemies and may want to harm them. They don’t even interact with us. Most often we have money to buy but those to buy from are either running away or not friendly while selling to us.

“My family now regrets why they enrolled me into the National Gendarmerie, because they are disgruntled about what is ongoing in the nation. At the moment, they have no choice because I am already into the service. All they do is to caution me to be very careful and avoid the malpractices which some of my colleagues engage in.

“I will say I am totally not in support of actions some gendarmes have executed like the killings and rape. I condemn such acts. When we go out as a group on mission and such things happen, I always talk to some of them. But they sometimes do not adhere to my advice. They say that they are military men and so, have the right to do whatever pleases them. The bad thing in the country is that, we do make laws but fail in executing them. In school we studied the Military Penal Code since there is a code we follow for everything we do. But we the military people still execute so many things which are not in the Code. You can’t go out to maintain peace and order, and on the contrary you kill or rape the people. In maintenance of law, a gendarme officer is not warranted to shoot and kill a civilian. In cases of riots, we are advised to use teargas and not live bullets. But there are situations which civilians have been killed. It is out of the law. Because in the military, we are permitted to use a gun only when an opponent comes armed and you know he will fire at you, then we are permitted to shoot him down. But that is not the case with the Anglophone crisis because most often they come unarmed. I think the authorities should investigate those who go about with the killings and rape. They should be punished.

We were not taught in a single day in English

“Even when I went in for training, I discovered that the marginalization up there is even at its peak. Throughout our studies and training, for almost a year, we were not taught a single day in the English language. When an Anglophone decides to ask a question using the English language, he would be told that “l’arme c’est la force francais”, meaning that the military is a French force and that English is not allowed in the military, whereas we are a bilingual country.

An Anglophone gendarme is hardly made the leader of a group.

The opportunities given to Francophone gendarmes are not given to the Anglophones. It is very difficult seeing an Anglophone made the head of a group. Anglophones are seen to be right down there while Francophones are superior.

Even as an Anglophone soldier, I play my role

Before now, I was also one of those who were against the marginalization against Anglophones. Even as a gendarme officer, I still play my role. It is not everything that I am asked to do which I do. While on the field, I cannot watch Anglophones being oppressed and I take part in it. I try to protect them, and pull them back. At times my colleagues behave like animals.

It is time for Anglophones to stand their grounds

“The Anglophone crisis has reached its peak that the authorities have to look into it because Anglophones are being marginalized in every sector in the country. It is also the time for Anglophones to stand their grounds; they shouldn’t give up and I know they may achieve their aims some day.

As a Gendarme, my hands are tied. If I weren’t with the National Gendarmerie, then I would have had the opportunity to put in my contributions to the struggle. But, now I am unable to do what I could do. Remember that you can’t bite the finger that feeds you.We were told that we don’t have a friend and made to understand that it is Government fight, so we are placed to fight the people.

I’d rather die than to be against my family. At the end of the day I am going back to my family. It is my friends and family members that will be there for me. So why should I fight the very people I may need their help someday?” he pondered.

By Relindise Ebune

 

Another fire guts 40-year old GBHS Fontem

Government inability to locate and eventually punish perpetrators of arson on public and private buildings in the last one year has seemingly heightened the criminal desire to inflict more drudgery on populations of the Southwest and Northwest Regions.

The latest in the series of incendiary occurrences is that which has just been visited on the administrative block of Government Bilingual High School, GBHS Fontem, rendering the edifice useless by burning to ashes most documents that had been carefully stored therein. This unfortunate incident has come barely a few months after a previous fire had wreaked havoc on the Francophone section of the school.

The Principal’s, Vice Principals’, Bursar’s, Discipline Master’s offices, including the Principal’s Secretariat were all reduced to ashes by the unfortunate inferno that occurred during the early hours of Saturday, November 24.

According to the Principal, Nyilua Zinkeng Alexander, he has not been able to immediately estimate the loss incurred from the damage. He has however, affirmed that only the destroyed roof can be estimated at over FCFA 10,000,000. He said lessons were timidly resuming in his school when the sadist arsonists executed the unpardonable act. He noted that the only thing recovered from his office were some certificates which were kept in a safe.

The arsonists did not end at burning the school; they also dropped warning notes against school resumption in the campuses of GBHS and Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College Fomtem. One of the notes read:

“Students and teachers are hereby advised to immediately stop schooling and teaching and wait for the appropriate time to be given by the Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. Failure to do so, you will face the consequences, I repeat, you will face the consequences. Those of you in the dormitories, we give you 48 hours to pack and go home safely. Note: no amount of La Republique forces will protect you from our action if you don’t respect this note. We love you and want the best educational system for you and not this one of La Republique… Parents take note!!! Beware and be warned!!!

The Vipers in collaboration with the ADF (Ambazonia Defence Forces)’’

The perpetrators of this act have equally named names, warned certain individuals in the community engaged in sensitization relating to schools resumption.

There was also a failed attempt to burn one of the cars belonging to the gendarmerie. It was parked right in front of the Gendarmerie office.

A day before these dastardly acts, the Bishop of Mamfe and native of Lebialem, Andrew Fuanya Nkea had sensitized the population on the importance and need for them to send their children to school during a Holy Mass service.

“I was in the US, and had the opportunity to celebrate Mass with those clamouring for schools boycott. I told them that if they were serious, they should withdraw their own children from school in solidarity with those at home,” the Bishop recalled.

He advised the people of Lebialem that, failing to send their children to school, is failing to prepare a brighter future for them and they will end up doing the most menial jobs.

Some inhabitants of Menji have been quick to conclude that, the arsonists are not indigenes. According to Denis Lekeateh, a Menji denizen, he is very convinced that the forces of law and order are not all ignorant of what is happening.

This is happening when schools were timidly reopening in Lebialem Division, after long struggles by the administration and some elite. Parents, according to the SDO, Zachariah Unghitoh had promised their children were all going to return to school yesterday Monday, November 27, 2017. The SDO regretted that the 40-year old school has been reduced to point zero, given that all records have been destroyed.

Following accusing fingers at the forces of law and order in Menji by inhabitants, the SDO has told them to prove their innocence by investigating, arresting and presenting suspects of such mischievous acts for legal proceedings to be engaged.

By Nester Asonganyi

‘Grace’ before Mugabe’s fall

At 93, Robert Gabriel Mugabe has been ruling Zimbabwe for 37 years. Until last week, Mugabe was stuck to power like a tick on a dog’s back. Then, his very trusted goons in military fatigues turned up with their smoking guns, practically converting the old man to an “unwilling guest” of the State House which he has freely inhabited for 37 years.  The freedom fighter had, over the years, allowed the sweet, intoxicating wine of  power to leave his stomach for his head. All because of a woman and the groveling sycophants, who flattered and prodded him on to [despite his diminishing faculties and frail physique] contest the presidential election due for 2018.

First lady, Grace Ntombizodwa, originally from Gauteng, South Africa started off as Mugabe’s typist while still married to an Air Force pilot. She started an intimate affair with the president in the early nineties. In 1996 she officially married her boss, 41 years older than Grace. Reputed to be a bad influence on Mugabe, Grace manipulated the old man into doing her bidding.

It was to culminate in the sacking of Mugabe’s hitherto trusted Vice President, Emerson Mnangagwana. The ultimate intention was to render the position vacant for Grace to occupy and eventually replace her ailing husband who, from every indication planned and hoped to die in power. The doting Mugabe fell for it. All advice to the contrary fell on Mugabe’s old, deaf ears. The nagging Grace, through her old hussy had grabbed too much for Zimbabweans not to notice.

Mugabe would not be admonished into stepping aside for someone more competent than his overly ambitious wife. Then, like the legendary Humpty Dumpty, the old man had a great fall and shattered to ribbons. Like the proverbial fly that refused to take advice, he followed the corpse into the political grave.

The story sounds like Mr. Mugabe’s “Grace before the euphemistic meal of political doom.” But it is certainly a big lesson for dictators and others who lie, cheat and steal; who rape democracy and cling to office.

Can Cameroon and its leadership learn from Mugabe’s ill fate? We put this question to our teeming readers. Their responses would definitely serve as notice to sit-tight rulers and fawning sycophants that place banana peels on their paths and flatter them to step on…

 

Any lessons for Cameroon from Zimbabwe?

 

The fire in Zimbabwe is fanned by the British

You must start by distinguishing between the behaviour of those in Zimbabwe and those here. We are said to be a bilingual country where French is dominant and English is on the back seat; that’s one serious problem. In Zimbabwe it is either English or Swahili. The mentality here is very different from theirs. There is this clash between the Anglophones and the Francophones and we have a system that has been deliberately put in place where, the Francophones have a huge edge over the Anglophones; you do not have that in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe it is just a simple tussle between political parties.

Although I accept democracy, Robert Mugabe fought so much for that country for donkey years. Even if it is against democracy, let’s give it to him as a gift because the truth about it is, by the time he was fighting this war, a lot of people did not understand until the day he was interviewed; the ordinary Zimbabwean had nothing but one white had 15, 20 farms, whereas the black man does not have even one farm and that is why he grabbed lots of farms and gave them to the black man.

This fire is being fanned by the British. They had tried every time to get that old man out. But the Zimbabweans are very sensible; what they have done from the declaration we are hearing, is not a coup d’état as such. They haven’t thrown the man out, taken over power and gotten him into prison. They have kept him cool in his house as an old man and they are trying to sort out their issues. But I think if his assistant, the Vice President who was sacked could be brought back in and peace established, Mugabe will reign until the day dies.

I cannot say such a thing can never happen in Cameroon but we can learn a lesson from Zimbabwe. For example, in Zimbabwe, with rioting, how many people have been thrown into prison? But see how many are imprisoned here for just asking for what is their right. I have always said, if you have a migraine (permanent headache) and in a show of bravado with friends, you say let’s go and have a drink, after all, I don’t have a headache, that headache can never go away. The only way it can go away, is, go see your doctor, let him examine you and prescribe medication.

The situation in Cameroon has and is radicalizing many young Cameroonians. If you have a child who has never been villain but finds out that he is hungry whereas, his other brothers are not hungry… He comes to you and asks for his own food; you keep pretending as if you have forgotten, then in the end, you say, ‘ok, you are really hungry, I will see what to do. You pinch little morsels and give him, but will not give his full meal. In the end, that child becomes radical. Sort out his problem before it is too late; because the child will say, ‘what do I have to loose? When I was quiet, they were troubling me, so if I get troublesome, we shall all be in the same trouble.

80-Year-Old Retired Engineer and Former Delegate of Transport – Buea

 

Biya should leave power gently, the same way he got it

If the situation in Zimbabwe happens in Cameroon, it will mean it is divine intervention because Zimbabweans have more of the Englishman mentality – to fight for a commonwealth unlike the case of Cameroon where, the majority Francophones are self-centred like the French. It will be difficult because, our leaders, but for some few are all thinking of personal gains and not the general interest.

But I will advise that let our Government learn at least something from Zimbabwe; that they can’t reign forever. Let the President be honourable enough to leave power gently, the same way it was given to him.

Anonymous, Businessman – Buea

 

It’s possible in Cameroon

Following the trends of things in Cameroon, I think it is a possibility that CPDM is dominating and has been the ruling party for long. Individuals have power over institutions. We are in a complete dictatorship. Given that Paul Biya has been in power for 35 years and his Zimbabwean counterpart has been for 37, I think that the next point of stop in chasing these African power drunk leaders is Cameroon.

Calistus Konda, Teacher-Bamenda

 

 Our military is too loyal

I do not see that happening in Cameroon any time soon. The Cameroon military has over the years distanced itself from the people. I think they are being trained in school only to respect the commander in chief, Paul Biya. They are just too loyal to him and in turn they are well paid and on time. They are trained in one language and that’s the language of their master. I do not see that soon in Cameroon.

Sabina Fai-trader Bamenda

 

Biya would not allow

President Paul Biya is constantly creating different segments of the army to avert such a thing in Cameroon. He makes sure they are not united. Tell me why put in place a special group known as ‘presidential guard and the BIR’ when we are not at war with our neighbours if not of solidifying grip in power?

Tomoh Sandra- Uba student

 

It’s possible for Biya to suffer Mugabe’s fate

The truth is, they both have stayed in power and have been dictatorial in their leadership. What I know is that what has happened in Zimbabwe was unexpected and it has sent a strong signal to Cameroon. So as it stands, the Government is in panic and if something is not done fast, I see a similar situation happening in Cameroon. I spoke to my friend who is an army. He disclosed to me that they too are tired of the situation. They wish a war should break out that’s when the president will know he has no army because they are tired of him. So you see, when a military friend can disclose such to a civilian, then you should expect nothing less from what is happening next door.

Primus Mukete, Animal Farmer- Kumba

 

Coup not impossible in Cameroon

You see, a coup in Cameroon like what’s happening in Zimbabwe now is far reaching. Though not impossible, but I think the Cameroonian army is more of Francophones and as such they are more local to their Francophones president of the Republic who is the Commander-in-Chief. Again, the situation of the two countries though similar in terms of long stay in power, our Cameroon president is not dismissing people from power, especially those of opposition that could stir up trouble but instead he is trying to bring more opposition to power in a bid to solve the problem.

Nani Victory, Teacher – Kumba

 

 I don’t want to compare the two countries

I like what happened in Zimbabwe and will even be happier if same could happen in Cameroon. What I am more concerned with is liberation of Southern Cameroonians and a coup will certainly not bring that because the army is dominated by Francophones and since they don’t even want us to separate, they can’t attempt that. But just to say that if Cameroon was a united country, then a coup would be best in removing the dictator from power.

Anonymous – Kumba

 

All heads of security units are President’s henchmen

Zimbabwe and Cameroon are two different countries; while in Zimbabwe the control that the President has over the military is somewhat loose. Here in Cameroon, we have a feeling that the President and his men have completely strode up the system. They have tightened up the system. If you observe very keenly, you will realize that all heads of security units belong more or less to a tribe I will not like to name here, but I think everybody understands. In Yaounde and even in the peripheries when you observe, you will realize that they are the President’s henchmen and even his tribesmen. I believe our own military here is not so patriotic. They are a kind of Bourgeoisie – they feed fat, they spend time not thinking about the people. They are more concerned about the preservation of the regime since they benefit so much from it. Even though it is not impossible, it is very unlikely.

Teguia Isidore, Teacher – Buea

 

A successful coup would be difficult in Cameroon

Since the first attempt failed in the earlier years of his reign, the president has successfully manipulated his military to and extent that it is difficult for them to stand against him. But God is doing a natural overthrow for Cameroon. God is already showing signs and I hope they are wise enough to understand that. Why do you think of all buildings, fire consumed the National Assembly building? Time alone will prove all that. Apostle Praise – Kumba

 

I don’t think it can be replicated in Cameroon

The two contexts are different, though with some traces of similarity. Recent actions of the Zimbabwean President have indicated that he is preparing his succession. Unfortunately, all indicators pointed to his wife after he sacked the VP; this is the situation that I believe triggered the reaction of the military.

However, the Zimbabwean army demonstrated maturity and professionalism by respecting the republican role of the military. No civilian was shot (not even those they wanted to arrest), no building destroyed, no economic activities and freedom of movement halted. The military acted with one voice.

Most Cameroonians still remain unaware of the situation of their country, be it political, social or economic.Those who even are aware of the situation are simply cowards and toothless bulldogs that will bark but cannot dare bite. They will grumble and stay and blame God for their fate.

Also, the socio-cultural diversity of the country makes it very complex to ascertain who can be an enemy at one time. The multiplicity of lobbies – spiritual, professional, economic, cultic, has accentuated the conflict of ideas so much so that everyone is fighting to protect the little they have achieved.

Additionally, the quality of our military recruits appears to be preoccupying. Such a peaceful revolution can become very bloody with the kind of mindset our soldiers have.

All in all, the situation in Cameroon cannot be given a clear cut interpretation because of its complex context.

There is a great possibility that it never happens in Cameroon or if it does, the magnitude may be beyond understanding.

Richard Deng – Yaounde

 

Not from a military trained by Biya and cohorts

I doubt if our military can do what their Zimbabwean colleagues recently did. These guys are so cowardly they have no brains of their own. They are brainwashed to protect the powers that be to their last blood drop. That tells you they can’t bite the finger that feeds them nor dare rise against their “gods.” Let’s forget such a thing can come from Cameroon. Not from the military trained by Biya and his cohorts.

Rudolf Esuka, Yaounde

 

He should not announce his candidature for 2018

It is very possible that the circumstances that have befallen Mugabe can befall Biya. When you look at the current crisis in Cameroon, (lately we heard General Ivo – Chief Commander of the presidential guards is nowhere to be found and they are looking for him.) if a General of that magnitude can leave the Presidency, it means there is a high probability that the military can turn against their boss. They can just turn around, put him under house arrest and tell him to step down.

If I were to advise our president, I will just tell him to step down and give another person the chance. He should not announce his candidature for 2018, even though the people whom he is feeding, CPDM are saying he should go ahead. In order to spare himself the disgrace of power leaving him, he should step down. Zimbabwe is an African country and there is a probability that it can happen here. Let him learn his lessons and start clearing his way out. President Biya was wise when he came to power and decided to declare himself Commander of the Armed Forces. He did that because he knew that to an extent, the actual power lies with the military and they can decide at any time to ask him to step down.

Even though he is from the majority ‘Francophone’ extraction of the country, many of them are not happy with the way he is maltreating Anglophones. And even some of the Francophones have their own grievances too despite all what he is doing to favour them as Francophones. Besides, the Head of State should step down because scientifically, there is a certain age which when you attain, you start reasoning and behaving like a child.

Daniel, TV Correspondent – Buea

 

Foreign nations have roles to play

We cannot say that what happened to Mugabe will happen to our president. They are not too identical; the countries are not the same, the scenarios are not the same. I don’t know why they held President Mugabe but I think it is more political and I think in political game, you cannot say what happened to ‘A’ will happen to ‘B.’ I am not a politician but behind what we see and are analyzing physically, is actually not what it is.

Foreign nations too have parts to play. We all know the west has not been a fan to Mugabe because he is not the type that appreciates them. Sometimes he even abuses them in UN assemblies and they have been looking for every opportunity to bring him down.

I cannot tell if they are the ones responsible for what is going on in Zimbabwe. What I know is that, for instance, we have the Anglophone crisis and our leaders fighting may make us the common people to understand that they are fighting because this or that is not there. But if you look at the hidden political agenda of it, there might be some forces and that is what I don’t know and cannot determine how strong or weak those forces are.  I don’t know the strength of my president; I don’t know how much he can withstand.

I am an Anglophone and what I can advise our president is simple. Whatever is going on is not a difficult task to handle; it is just because of so much greed; seriously, I am not advocating for separation because I don’t see that as a solution. The better option is federation. The problem is the way the Government sees it. If we keep our greed aside, the country will progress.

Stanley, Engineer – Buea

 

I wish it could happen

Wow. Nice question. I wish it could happen but, it is impossible. Some say impossibility is not Cameroonian but, this would be a tough nut to crack. The guys are not united. Everyone has their interest and would fight to protect it. Some people can be for a coup while others are not. Trust me that those who are not would sell their colleagues for favours from the big man. That is the way it is, so, let’s forget it.

Angela Nlon, Teacher – Yaounde

 

A coup can never succeed in this country

Too much greed. If the 1984 failed just know none will ever succeed. First and foremost, our army kills the people they should be protecting, very different from what we witnessed in Zimbabwe. Our own military have been trained to protect the oppressor against the harmless oppressed. How do you expect them to overthrow their President? And even if it happened by miracle, they will begin fighting on who should become president. The Northerners will want the presidency just like the Southerners. I know how greedy we are, so it cannot even happen.

Ekane Cornelius – Yaounde

Compiled by Nester Asonganyi, Ebune Relindise, Jean Marie Ngong Song, Ngende Esther & Claudia Nsono

Has Assembly fire caught Tchiroma pants down?

Cameroon’s Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, has been slammed for flaring angers within ranks of English speaking Cameroonians. The smash was dished out by observers recently, following the Minister’s declaration that the four floors of the National Assembly ‘Glass House’ razed on Thursday, November 16, 2017, was an accident.

They argue that the Government mouthpiece would have hastily blamed the occurrence on supposed terrorists, extremists and secessionists, had the same incident been in either of the two English speaking Northwest and Southwest Regions. Their annoyance is that the same thing is given different names on both sides of the Mungo; the saintly name to the “privileged” Francophone Regions and the impious name forced on the “underprivileged”Anglophone Regions. Such acts which they, commentators, spitefully noted are aimed at flaring up Anglophone anger which has been on a steady rise since Common Law Lawyers joined teachers on an indefinite strike action last November.

While security officials have opened investigations to establish the cause of the disaster, Minister Tchiroma on state media, CRTV, noted that “according to the clues we have today, the cause of the fire is accidental. He bluffed Government efforts in redressing the situation, stressing that the loss had not been estimated.

“All available national expertise is being used to assess the damage and tell us precisely the origin of the fire.  The Government has taken and will take all measures to make sure that the National Assembly will sit as normal without experiencing any disturbance,” he boasted.

His address met very stiff resistance from regime fault finders who gritted that he (the Minister) is seizing every opportunity and creating some just to get the worst out of Anglophones. Nkengmeyi Gideon, a doctoral Political Science student in Yaoundé, wept that hoes, machetes, pick axes and other farming tools had been seized from farmers in the crisis stricken Regions. He swore that until the same is done for farmers in the former French Cameroon; and the Minister indicts terrorists and secessionists for the Glass House smouldering, the country might be unconsciously bidding farewell to its propagated oneness and indivisibility.

Meantime, the Thursday razing which witnesses first spotted at about 10pm gutted the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh floors of the ‘Glass House,’ leaving pillars for posterity and affecting the third floor. The flames were contained by National Fire Fighting Brigade six hours later. Though they succeeded in saving nothing from the administrative offices, they saved the auditorium from the mayhem and recorded no human losses. The people’s representatives have been meeting for about a week to lay down laws for the nation.  Although the lawmakers are said to be endorsing laws already drafted by hierarchy, they have not failed to record their traditional triennial sittings.

House Speaker, Honourable Cavaye Yeguie Djibril and his younger ilk sauntered to the Ngoa Ekelle scene to have first hand assessment. They joined the Governor of the Centre Region, Nasseri Paul Bea, the Senior Divisional Officer for Mfoundi, Jean Claude Tsila, security details of the area, and a crowd who watched in bewilderment as hard earned tax money charred.

Witnesses say Cavaye expressed regrets over the loss as if it were his private property.  Critics teased that such feelings are legit for someone who has headed the house for 30 years.

It is still cloudy what the tale would have been like had the building caught fire during the day when members of the lower house of assembly were concerting in their last session for the 2017 fiscal year.

Pundits have been busy linking the mishap to the boycott of this session by SDF MPs. They equally want to make belief that it is not unconnected to the Anglophone crisis. In the meantime, denizens are still flaring with anger at the fact that the House head had supposedly warned opposition SDF MPs he would not tolerate any debates on the Anglophone crisis in parliament.  He is reported to have spewed the threats in a behind-the-scenes meeting to ascertain the raison d’être behind the SDF’s  boycott of the opening plenary and threats to steer clear of the November session save satisfactory measures are taken.

CRTV reported that only five fire fighting trucks battled to contain the flames. The question that remains unanswered is, where the many such trucks which parade every 20th May could be.

It should be recalled that as the Anglophone crisis rages on, fire has reduced markets, schools and have recently upgraded to administrative structures. Could the duo be unrelated? What is its next destination?

By Claudia Nsono

 

 

 

 

 

Bamenda honours fallen soldiers

As part of the customary rituals that accompany Government articulation of concern for fallen servicemen, four soldiers alleged to have been killed by unidentified “terrorists” in the Northwest and Southwest Regions have been elevated to higher ranks and posthumously decorated with army medals of bravery by the Head of State, Commander in Chief of the Defense Forces, Paul Biya, symbolizing sympathy of the entire nation.

Bokam decorates one of the fallen soldiers

A ceremony to this effect held at the Bamenda Commercial Avenue Grand Stand on Friday, November 17, 2017, featuring full military honours and presided at by the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam.

The slain soldiers include, Gendarme- Major, Djonlay Bienvenu, on duty at the 51 Squadron in Bafoussam, but detached to reinforce the Jakiri Brigade, Bui Division who was allegedly attacked and shot dead by assailants on November 6, 2017 while hunting down with his comrades, “hooded terrorists” who had attempted to set ablaze GTHS Jakiri. His body had been reportedly found a few moments earlier, riddled with bullets, not far from the scene of events.

“Marechal- des Logis Chef,” Hinma Rene, another Gendarme had been killed on the night of November 7, 2017, at about 11:30 pm at a combined security check point in Bafut, Mezam Division while student Gendarme, Sali David met with his demise on the night of November 8, 2017 in the neighborhood of Bayelle, Bamenda.

Yaya Emmanuel, a soldier serving with the 22nd Motorized Infantry Battalion attached to the 21st Motorized Infantry Brigade Battalion had also, been “brutally murdered by another gang of terrorists” on the night of the 9-10 of November in Akwen near Mamfe Town, in Manyu Division in the Southwest Region.

The caskets, each draped with the national flag were placed at the Bamenda Commercial Avenue Grandstand where the Secretary of State in charge of National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam and his close aids, top military officers, colleagues, relatives and well-wishers had assembled to pay last respects to the fallen soldiers.

The Head of State through the SDO of Mezam, Songa Pierre Rene, promised the bereaved families that the nation will continue to hold the fallen soldiers in high esteem and will ensure that all their statutory benefits are paid.

Dignitaries at the solemn military ceremony included the Chairman of the opposition SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi, Divisional Officers of Bamenda I, II and III, Members of Parliament, MPs from Mezam, the Government Delegate, Bamenda City Council, Mayors of Bamenda I, II and III Councils, Divisional Delegates and traditional rulers in Mezam.

Speaking to prying journalists after the brief ceremony, Fru Ndi condemned the killing of the soldiers and also civilians. He blamed the killings on President Paul Biya, whom he said has refused to solve the problem by calling for sincere dialogue.

This ceremony had been preceded by a security evaluation meeting chaired by the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie, strictly behind closed doors.

By Jean Marie Ngong Song

Fake certificate ghost still haunting Mayor

Buea Mayor, Ekema Patrick Esunge like anyone else would, under any given circumstance love for the fake certificate scandal involving him to be buried deep in the bowels of history. But NO! The malefaction appears to have entangled him like cobwebs and keeps reappearing like a bad coin in the market.

Months back, the Registrar of the GCE Board, issued what was by all means cast iron proof that the Lord Mayor had scammed his way past GCE certificates into university degrees. A statutory institution, the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, NCHRF, partly relied on the Board’s exhibits to decry academic fraud from which the Mayor ostensibly benefited. Students of the University of Buea, UB, aka the Place to be, seized the occasion of the Higher Education Minister’s visit to the institution, to brandish placards and booed the Lord Mayor for fraud. The Minister, Jacques Fame Ndongo addressing the placard carrying students noted: “we have heard your problems. You have to trust your Government, your Pro-Chancellor and Vice Chancellor. I will look into the problem.” And then, mum! Then, business, as usual!

The latest in the sharp practice scandal is that the NCHRF has drawn the attention of the legal department, practically reminding its authorities of what danger there is in letting flim-flam men off the hook, even the one is a politically protected sacred cow.

To this effect, Southwest Secretary of NCHRF, Christopher Tambe Tiku has addressed a letter to the ‘Procureur General’ of the Southwest Region with ‘Allegation of fraud by Mayor Ekema Patrick Esunge’ as the subject matter. The Regional Secretary notes that he is availing himself to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, which enjoin anyone having credible information relating to the Commission of an offence to bring to the attention of the judiciary.

He recalls, as though it was already a fait accompli that Ekema was engaged in academic fraud by introducing fake certificates to earn an admission in the Department of History, University of Buea, UB.

Noting that it was important not to underestimate the gravity of the offence of academic fraud he added that such an act would impact adversely not only on the moral fibre of society but on the economic growth of the country. That it discourages potential students from going to school and working hard, leads to loss of respect for authority and Government and is inimical to public administration.

“It is vital for the public to have complete confidence in the integrity and efficiency of public servants but fraud from a Mayor emasculates that very trust and confidence.”

Tambe Tiku continues: “…cases of this magnitude are not new in our courts. The attitude of the courts has been to give an exemplary punishment. The Mayor’s conduct is to be deplored. He did not succumb to sudden temptation and then resist.

“He participated in the offence in a cynical manner and introduced fake certificates to be reclassified (from grade 7to grade 8).”

Going by the Human Rights Regional Chieftain, the Lord Mayor’s act has caused tremendous loss to the university. It cannot be gainsaid, he states, that the university is an organ of the state adding that it is a public institution through which the state discharges its constitutional obligation to make access to education realizable.

The Human Rights activist thinks that an investigation ought to have been opened and all undue earnings resulting from the fake certificates reimbursed. “What is more perplexing is the fact that he has shown no remorse and his refusal to attend a disciplinary hearing is particularly revealing.”

The NCHRF Regional Secretary states that he is prepared to assist the police in the investigation of the matter and that when the need arises, he “shall furnish the investigators with relevant documentation to establish his guilt.”

The Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, the Chairperson of the NCHRF and the President of the Southwest Court of Appeal are all copied.

By Charlie Ndi Chia

New Wouri Bridge overwhelm by snarling traffic

Persistent traffic jams on the two bridges over Wouri River linking Bonaberi and Deido neighbourhoods in Douala have rubbished the economics and even politics of the new 800-metre long bridge that went operational barely a month ago. Government circles had touted the impression that the bridge on completion will spring up some solace to persistent traffic congestion, particularly, in the mornings and evenings when workers are going and returning from work.

The edifice that has been fully opened to vehicles is still far from meeting the people’s aspirations as long queues have been found throughout the day on and around the venue making movement and business around town slow.

At least 60,000 vehicles use the bridge daily, according to statistics from the Douala City Council. Throw in bikes and pedestrians in that lot and the situation becomes denser.

As early as 6am on a Monday morning, denizens are rushing to beat the traffic congestion in order to be early to work. Coming from Bonaberi, traffic is smooth until you hit a snag on the bridge. Taxis tussle with each other to get access while bikes sneak past the pedestrian footpaths all to beat the traffic on the bridge. Trucks heading or leaving the seaport as well as those leaving the industrial zone in Bonaberi are all in the mix.

“We have been on this bridge for one hour now and nothing seems to be moving. This time I am wasting here is money I am losing and I am not sure I will be able to meet up with my financial expectations at the end of the day,” Sani, a taxi driver stuck in the traffic on a Monday morning says.

However, the traffic is an opportunity for bikers to make brisk business due to their flexibility and ability to negotiate tiny bends in order to sneak out of the traffic. The distance between Bonaberi and Rond Point which averagely costs FCFA 250 is no cheaper than five hundred francs upward.

“The traffic is an opportunity for us to make a lot of money and we charge a lot because it is too risky. You can easily be crushed by one of these trucks in the traffic while trying to take a bend,” Gilbert Bena, a biker trying to beat the traffic says.

The traffic has not left the Governor of the Littoral Samuel Ivaha Diboua indifferent as he has been forced to make a stop on several occasions on the site for personal assessment.

“We hope the road users can help make the situation easier by driving responsibly.  If we are all in a hurry and want to pass at the same time, there is bound to be traffic and in the end we will blame the police for not doing their duty,” the Governor cautioned.

The situation is fluid in the day but it is back to business after work hours as workers struggle to beat the traffic to get back home. For how long will they continue like this in Douala?

A flyover to decongest the bridge

The cup will only be half empty if you suffocate on the bridge without moving forward. Just after the bridge, technicians work even at night constructing a flyover that should decongest the traffic on the bridge.

Though access is forbidden on the site, a worker who spoke on condition of anonymity says the flyover will direct traffic as vehicles moving to the seaport will be redirected from those going straight to the rest of the town.

Built at an estimated cost of 139, 5 billion FCFA, the bridge is expected to decongest traffic from all trucks from the industrial zone in Bonaberi, as well as vehicles coming from the Southwest, West and North Regions.

It is equally a strong link between goods from the Douala seaport to the rest of the Central African sub region.

By Francis Ajumane

Agbor-Balla reaffirms two-state federation stand

On Tuesday, October 24, 2017 in London, Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla granted an interview to Focus on Africa on the BBC. In the interview with David Amana, Agbor Balla who is the pioneer president of the now outlawed   Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium emphatically re-echoes his stand for a two-state federation. The following is the interview transcribed by Atia Azohnwi. Excerpts:-

What is the way forward now for the two English speaking Regions of Cameroon? It has been more than a year since civil disobedience protests began. At the heart of the crisis are grievances over what people in the Northwest and Southwest Regions feel as marginalisation by the Francophone dominated government in Yaoundé. One of the men who called for the demonstrations last year is Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla, a lawyer and leader of the outlawed Cameroon Anglophone Consortium of Civil Societies. He is in London right now. He was actually released from a lengthy jail sentence early this year and stood accused on terrorism and treason charges. So why has Government given him freedom to move around now?

I was accused of terrorism, secession, incitement to civil war, group rebellion, and also attempt to change the form of the state among others. There were eight charges against me.

 

And which of the charges do you admit to?

None of the charges. We were innocent of all the things that they said. We did not commit any crime. The consortium was clearly a non-violent organisation.We said it in all our communiqués and press statements. I think we were arrested because they felt that because of our leadership qualities, we were in total control of all what was happening. And our people listened to us. It was more of trying to see how they could kill the movement.

What about the charges calling for secession?

We never called for secession. If you read all the communiqués from the consortium, we talked about a two-state federation. The consortium had never spoken about independence, restoration and secession. And till date, that is the same position that we maintain. We were for a two-state federation; we have never been for secession, restoration or independence.

And that is how it started. You even have supporters in the US calling for independence at the UN, calling for a state called Ambazonia. What do you make of that?

Independence is a very emotional thing. People, everybody likes it. But I look at the reality. I am a realist. You know, I look at the feasibility of having it. I am for a federation [two-state federation] that will bring the Cameroons together – the Anglophones and Francophones – to build a stronger country. Let us be honest; we can have unity in diversity. We can respect each other’s specificities and cultural and linguistic differences. But we are a people, we are one, we can build a stronger nation by being together. I don’t think separation is the panacea for the time being.

And you will agree that is a softer line that calls for independence.

Yes! I think it is a more centric view. I think lots of Anglophones also are now talking about a federation. And I think we have moderate Francophones who have joined the call for a federation. Prior to our arrest, federation was a taboo. Discussions about it were taboo. We think now that everybody understands at least that federalism is a form of Government that can be acceptable to everybody. And it ends up being a win-win situation. So, it is a balance between those calling for restoration or Southern Cameroons’ independence and those who believe in a unitary state. So, if we can have a federal structure, it will help the country.

The children in those Regions have not been going to school. It is over a year now. They stay away from school. And you were the leader of one of the organisations which called for parents to keep their children away from school. Do you still maintain that position?

When we called for kids not to go to school, it was not supposed to be a long term measure. It was supposed to be a short term measure to try to call the attention of the Government to address the issues. I believe that now it’s time for kids to go back to school. I believe that it is time for the leadership in the Anglophone community to ensure that kids should go back to school. I urge the leadership to consider that kids should be able to go back to school.

And the ‘ghosts towns’, the disruptions to the economy, and small businesses; what should happen to those concerned?

It is a price that we all pay. I can understand a ‘ghost town’ for one day. But when it is two or three days, I think it is heavy. Most of the business people that I talked to are okay if there is ‘ghost town’ on Monday. But when you start making it for two or three days, especially in Buea which is considered the Silicon Valley, it has a lot of effect on small businesses. They understand, they accept the fact that, I spoke to one guy who has a shop. He said “President, if it is for one day, I understand it is my own price to pay.” We have to start thinking out of the box. We can still continue the struggle while not killing the goose that is laying the golden eggs.

You were jailed for eight months. You suffered, but they have eased up on you now. Have you done some kind of deal?

Before I went to jail, I used to work in the UN. So, I have lived in the West for at least 17 years. I travelled at least three times every year. So, it is a continuation of who I am or the things I do. And let’s not forget, before I went to jail, for those who know me, I stay in my house that I built, my office, I own it. I think it is more about people who don’t know who I am and who really don’t know the kind of person I am made of. But Dr. Fontem Aforteka’a Neba is there. We don’t have our ID cards, our bank accounts are blocked.

Are you in touch with him?

Yes! I mean, we live in the same town. We are constantly in touch.

Are you two still following the same path?

Yes! We are still following the same path. And like I said in one of my interviews on local TV in Cameroon, nobody did cut any deal. Since I left jail, there is nobody in Cameroon; there is no Anglophone in Cameroon who has made the kinds of statements that I have made since I left jail. I want to see one person who has made the statements that I have made since I left jail. Nobody living in Cameroon, including the leaders of the opposition, including those who want to run for president, nobody has made the statements that I have made in Cameroon. For somebody who follows the political landscape of Cameroon, it would be shocking for someone to say that because I travel out of the country, [I have cut a deal with Government]. I went to Ghana, that was on a UN-VP high level panel discussion on the future of governance in Africa and my ticket was bought by the organisers.

Before the beginning of next year, where do you want to be? Do you want to be in negotiations with Yaoundé?

I think the first thing is I am trying to lobby for us to have an all Anglophone leadership dialogue conference where leadership will meet and try to strategise on immediate, short-term and long-term goals.

So what you are saying is that you want to achieve unity first because you are disunited?

Yes! Among the leadership, there we can have an ‘All Anglophone Dialogue Forum’ where everybody will sit, hoping that we have a negotiation with Government to address some of the issues.

But in the meantime, Government is not waiting. You’ve got an election next year. President Biya is going to walk it, isn’t he?

Yes! And I believe that Anglophones also, we have to start thinking how to get into the political process. Because if we have 45-50 parliamentarians, with moderate Francophones who are for a federation, then we can make things happen. We cannot be absent from the electoral process. We need to get involved. We need to try to see how we can create a movement; we need to try to see how we can bring like minded people on board. Because even if we don’t go for elections, others will go, with our representation which will be the people we don’t like, but they will have to represent us for the next five years.

Tumi breaks silence, comments on: *Wave of Anglophone protests & Diaspora influence, *Murder of Bafia Bishop, *Occultism in Catholic Church, *Assimilation of Anglophones…

Christian Cardinal Tumi is a household name in Cameroon. Apart from being immediate past Archbishop of Douala Archdiocese, and this far, the only Cameroonian Cardinal, he has always been an acerbic critic of governance that is grounded not in transparency and accountability but in falsehood, corruption and ineptitude. He does this with unrivalled dispassion and independent mindedness that put in abeyance any attempt to ascribe partiality to his utterances.

Surprisingly, this ebullient Prelate and illustrious scion of Kikaikilaiki (‘K4’), in Bui Division, has been unusually quiet in the last one year, even as unfolding events in the polity call for perspectives from revered and renowned individuals who have attained the status of institutions through integrity, cultivated over time. Indeed, the festering Anglophone crisis and attendant loss of yet-to-be-ascertained number of lives, and Government’s seeming nonchalance after perpetrating such carnage did not seem to have moved the Cardinal into screaming for a halt to the barbarism as he is wont to do.

However, last week, His Eminence decided to shelve his silence cocoon and gratified The Rambler with an exclusive interview in which forthrightness and concern, the wellbeing of the sheep he is meant to be shepherding came out forcefully.  Issues that the Cardinal fielded include occultism in the Catholic Church, the gruesome murder of the Bishop of Bafia, Biya regime’s scorn for Anglophones, French mastermind of Anglophone assimilation and many sidekick issues.

Cardinal Tumi spoke exclusively to Charlie Ndi Chia, The Rambler Publisher/Editor-in-Chief. Readers are advised not to start reading it if they have other pressing issues to attend to. Reason? It is an addictive novelette!

Your Eminence, thank you very much for according us this rare opportunity. Let’s begin by wondering if justice for Monsigneur Jean-Marie Benoit Bala has been buried along with the Prelate. One isn’t hearing of any investigation, let alone any hint at ultimately punishing the perpetrators of his gruesome murder.

We do not know if the state is continuing with its investigation as it was said, but we, the Church, with our lawyers will continue the investigation. We want to know those who took part in the assassination of Bishop Bala. The Bishops Conference continues its investigation.

Is the Bishops’ Conference unanimous? Is it the wish of all of you to go the whole hog of the investigation or there are internal dissentions?

There might be Bishops who have their own individual opinions but once the President of the Conference acts, he acts in our name. Once we have accepted that he continues, once the majority does so, then we agree that everybody is in agreement with what the President of the Conference is doing. Up to now, nobody has come out to say anything to the contrary.

How perfect are lawyers at investigations? Why not private investigators, competent ex-policemen?

Well, those who are investigating as we know are lawyers. And so far, they are the only ones we have consulted. We don’t know any other source or any other organization that could do that work better.

I may be repeating myself, but is the Church doing anything to secure justice and why not, prevent any further such bestiality on her ordained servants? If so, what steps have so far been taken and with what results?

We are not taking any steps to prevent such happening tomorrow…

You mean you are resigned to fate?

No, that is to say, our Founder was assassinated; that is Christ Himself, and the Apostles, so we just keep proclaiming the Gospel. If it is God’s will that we leave this world by violent deaths, may His will be done. We should, as Christ has said; “Do not be afraid. I have conquered the world.”

Your Eminence, let me ask you this again for emphasis; is the political leadership of Cameroon so far showing any palpable interest in apprehending and bringing to book those behind the heinous act?

We have seen no signs that can push us to answer affirmatively to your question. We think that the state is not doing enough…

The persistent assassination of Catholic clergymen cuts a tragic figure of an ugly stain on the local Church’s image. Any special effort at putting paid to the weird practice, given especially as you put it, that you’ve seen no trace of the regime trying to stop it?

Yes! There is a more fundamental question that I ask myself; why or how to explain the fact that most of the assassinations are from the Centre Region. How does one explain that? Except for my predecessor in Yagoua, Bishop Yves Plumey and Father Anthony Fontegh in Kumbo, the rest of the assassinations have taken place in the Centre Region. We are still looking for the answer to that question.

Your Eminence, forgive my persistence. What, would you imagine, even if you are still looking for the answers, could be responsible for this gruesome trend of Bishop killing in Cameroon?

As I say, most of those killed are from the Centre Region. I still ask myself questions; are they too involved with their brothers and sisters or tribal men from the Centre in certain meetings where they reach a point, a Priest or a Bishop will say to himself, as a Priest or a Bishop, I cannot go further. In their secret societies, a Priest might be involved; a Bishop might be involved but at a certain point, he says to himself; hey, I cannot go further as a Priest. But since he already has knowledge of what was supposed to be secretive, then he has to pay for it because he might make known certain secrets.

You have just hinted at something very fundamental. Is there precedence? Can you pin a finger on any precedence, wherein an ordained Catholic Priest, whether in the Centre or elsewhere in Cameroon was involved in the occult?

Well, take even the case of Monsignor Bala. Many of us believe that the late Bishop of Bafia is a Martyr. We should not forget that the Rector of his Minor Seminary was killed before him. And it seems that he was warned. And why was he killed? It seems there was a secretive society that had something to do with the minor seminarians concerning homosexuality and the Priest and the Bishop were violently against that. It seems there are a quite a number of Christians involved in that. So when the Priest was killed, (I have no proofs) the Bishop was warned for he seemingly was coming out violently against homosexuality.

But some peculiar phenomenon hitherto unprecedented in Church circles, manifested shortly after the Bishop was buried. Some heathen rituals were carried out by his kith and kin. Is such in normal Christian practice? Does the Church allow for “kontri fashion” or “ngambe” to be performed on a Pastor of Souls at death?

That is pagan practice. It was absolute pagan practice.

And the Church was helpless? The Church could not stop it?

They had done it and there was nothing to do. The Church had nothing to do with it. They did it in their village. They didn’t come to do it in the Church. But what I heard was the blood they found on the tomb of the Bishop. That again, we don’t know what blood it was. Nobody had had any laboratory examination of it. Again, I have not much to say about it because I also heard of it like everybody else.

But if the secular authorities were mute, following a criminal desecration of someone’s tomb, would it not have been prudent for the Church as an institution to insist that the blood should be taken to a laboratory and clinically analyzed?

We didn’t see the need for that. If I were there I won’t see the need for it, as a Bishop; as a Priest. After all, what do you get from it?

Let me ask this question which I consider unpleasant. Is there a possibility of there being some foul play from within the Church itself? Power play, pecuniary interests and the like?

What power? That was a young Bishop…

Maybe he was about to be upgraded to an Archbishop or something higher?

Archbishop of where? (Laughs heartily) The Archbishop of Yaounde?

Or may be Cardinal…

That a again… (Laughs)

Remember that you are retired…

Even if I am dead it is not certain that there will be another Cardinal in Cameroon.

Maybe Cameroon needs two or three more Cardinals.

There are countries in Central Africa that have no Cardinal. The Cardinal is the personal appointment of the Pope; and he appoints who he wills. It is true there is an inquiry… I am sure, but it is not certain that after me, there will be a Cardinal in Cameroon. There is no Diocese in Cameroon that is Cardinalate. In the world, there are a few Archdioceses where the Archbishop is always a Cardinal. Take like Malan in Italy. I can see Kinshasa coming in Africa because they are on their third Cardinal in the Archdiocese of Kinshasa. Otherwise…

Maybe you should explain how a local Church qualifies to have a Cardinal.

I don’t know. (Laughs)

You just said something about there being no Archdiocese that is Cardinalate in Cameroon…

There are a few Archdioceses in the world where it is known that if somebody is appointed an Archbishop there, he will be sure that one day he will become a Cardinal. I gave the example of Milan in Italy. That one I know well. I was ordained with the Archbishop of Malan on December 6, 1980. We knew that he will become a Cardinal and in the following Consistory, he was appointed a Cardinal. But in Africa, I don’t know any yet.

Let’s depart from Church issues and look at the crisis in the English speaking Regions of Cameroon, Your Eminence. The Government, if one has to go by the posturing or body language of the Communication Minister is ignoring, even mocking at every counsel from the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province. If anything, Government has dumped them in the mould of whom they refer to as ‘extremists, secessionists and terrorists.’ This is untoward, disturbing, don’t you think?

I know each and every one of them, the six Bishops of that Province. What they wrote, I have read it. They were writing as people who are living the events and I think those who are criticizing them do not know what is happening over there. They don’t. But the Bishops are living the events from day-to-day. They are Priests at the grassroots; they are Christians and they are informed. They don’t just sit and write. They make inquiries. Now tell me those who criticize them don’t understand what is happening over there. Myself, I am from there. I went to bury my cousin that week. I had a completely different opinion when I came back. I did not know what was happening over there. I was convinced that the separatists as they call them; those who want to cut off were an inferior minority. But I was wrong. When I went there… I went through from Tiko, Kumba, Mamfe, Bamenda, Kumbo, and came back by the same road. I estimated… I was travelling with the Bishop of Buea. I estimated that 80 percent of Cameroonians over there are for secession; the Bishop told me, ‘no, it is 90 percent.’

But this doesn’t change the disturbing fact of Bishops being labeled as secessionists and it is disturbing…

It doesn’t mean that they are what they are labeled to be. I am what I am despite what you think of me. Only I know myself and God.

Your Eminence, is Government really dialoguing the way she purports? Could you, as a dispassionate observer state with certainty that any dialogue has or is going on at all?

I don’t think they have started yet with dialogue. They are dialoguing with whom? It is they in power who take the initiative to go and ask people questions and tell people things in the villages. That is not dialogue. Dialogue…

But there has been this sing-song in Government controlled media about how the President is pushing for dialogue, has been dialoguing, and conceded much more than was actually asked by protesters. The impression is given that it is but the dissenters that are obfuscating dialogue.

I can pretend to know the two camps. I have spoken with some of the ones they call the ‘Revolutionists’ who are outside the country and who are inside. They also are ready for dialogue. All I heard was that they want dialogue as far as possible, dialogue outside the country because I don’t see how they can dialogue without them today. Those fellows who organized such a demonstration on the 22nd of September had defied everybody. How can you dialogue without them? You might call them names but they are controlling the population today; the English speaking part of the country.

When you spoke to them, did they tell you that anybody on the Government bench has approached them for dialogue?

As far as I know, not yet. The President first of all has said that no dialogue with them. But everybody in the world now is calling for dialogue. They are not stupid fellows; they are intellectuals. What I keep on asking myself is; how is it possible that these fellows outside and inside could have organized such a march as the one of the 22nd of September and nobody in the country was aware of it? Have you a national security? How is it possible that on that side, every child, young and old women sing that ‘National Anthem’ of the Ambazonia as they call it? When did they teach it and where? Those are things that should…

Maybe they are divinely inspired…

Divinely inspired? (Laughs) No, even the Psalms… We were not divinely inspired to sing the Psalms. We have to learn to sing them; either in schools, either in seminaries. You don’t just sing the Psalms. They are inspired in the teaching of it but the singing of it… I was surprised in the village, I went to bury my cousin, and for some other things. The SCBC, I hear, is Southern Cameroons Broadcasting Corporation. That’s how I was watching it in the Priest’s house… That is why the police on the 1st of October, were breaking people’s television sets and everything. But the people have the phone, which I think the national security doesn’t know how it functions.

You just doubted how September 22 happened without the security knowledge, but the troops are now wide awake, cracking down and ‘taking care’ of every dissident?

Because they are ignorant. Only an ignorant person uses force. You cannot win a man over by force. You suppress him, he keeps quiet; but he is waiting for another occasion. The human being is rational. You must reason with him. That is what the whole world is calling for now, that Cameroon should dialogue with those fellows.

You said before that when you spoke with the leaders of eh…

They sent one of them, to come and see me here. They invited me to their meetings in Europe and I said no, I am not coming. If you want to see me, you come to Douala. I will not come over there. That is what I told them.

Which reminds me of this recurring decimal, namely; that if there must be dialogue, Cardinal Tumi must make for its credibility; that is what even our Francophone compatriots are projecting. That Cardinal Tumi should constitute part of the dialogue…

Well, when I was ordained a Priest, one of the decisions I took and I think I am still faithful to it is that, I will never accept the invitation of a political party for whatever cause. But if all the parties in the country need and they are looking for a refuge and they invite me, I will go. That is why I went for the revision of the 1996 Constitution. Before that, the Head of State received me and we agreed on two things. The first was that… I proposed to the Head of State that all political tendencies should be present in that Commission for it to be credible. Secondly, was that the draft Constitution should be sent to the members well before hand because many of them have never done any constitution law just like me. But we were given the documents only when we arrived for the meeting. That is why when I discovered that the majority of those who were present were of what was called “Presidential Majority,” I decided to withdraw. I told them this was a decision I took as a Priest, I have seen that it is the one tendency so, I am going away.

What is your reading of the “dialogue missions” to the two English speaking Regions? What good is likely to come out of them?

I don’t think any good will come out of it.

You are pessimistic or you have seen the…

They met a few CPDM sympathizers, they met a few teachers; they met a few people and two or three chiefs here and there. That is not serious dialogue. The least they could have done was to have called even a group in those Regions where they went. I mean those who are in power and against it and listen to everybody.

So are you suspecting that they are going to come out with a watered censored version of… do you think that the outcome is intended to be a watered censored contraption which will be submitted to…

I agree with those who went said we should consider this as the beginning of dialogue…

But there are others yet who say that it is something of a quick fix, some face powder for the attention of the Secretary General of the UN whom it is rumoured will visit Cameroon tomorrow, Friday, October 27.

But the Secretary General…

That is, to give him the impression that dialogue has taken place and that the generality of the people have agreed on a way out of the quagmire?

They cannot fool him…

Both parties can fool the SG because he doesn’t belong here and apparently doesn’t…

Well, if he thinks that in two or three days they can dialogue and come to a conclusion, then he himself… you see, he is the SG of UN, they are used to getting problems of that nature. He cannot just believe that. Where were these fellows who provoked the disturbances? Was any of them involved? I ask you, did they meet any of them? I don’t think so. Those who are at the basis of the whole uprising…

And the destructions?

Destructions by whom?

 I think Diaspora dissidents have been masterminding the burning of schools and other public property.

Take for example the burning of the Sacred Heart College, Mankon. If it is those dissidents who burnt it, where were those guarding the college? And they even suspect those guarding the college to be the ones who burnt the college’s dormitory.

If this is true, would such an act amount to giving a dog a bad name in order to have it hanged?

They could do it in order to accuse every destruction on… I am not saying that they are not doing it but they have not proved it. The killings there now and the stealing of people’s precious property is done by the army. On the 21st of September, I was in the village, which is why I say that I lived some of these events. They said nobody should come out. Why then did they go to drag people out of their houses? And some were shot, if not, kidnapped; they were on parts of the body that are difficult to cure. And people said once they broke into their houses, sometimes at night, they took away what is precious; and if they saw money, they took it. What I think is that there should be a serious inquiry…

Who should carry out the inquiry about killings?

A foreign body. The UN can organize it. How many people were killed or were wounded? A military man said they were given instructions that on the 1st of October you see anybody on the street, you shoot to kill. That is why they (the military) took upon themselves to advise people not to come out.

Is that what a military man told you?

Yes.

Did he say who gave the instructions?

No.

Bishops were dragged into the fray. In a sense, they were, more or less, muddied alongside those the regime branded as secessionists. They were left off the legal hook abruptly. How far, would you say, has this act compromised Bishopric authority and prestige vis-a-vis their Christians?

If I were there I would go to court. That shows, that the Bishops too… that before the law, all of us are equal. It doesn’t matter what you are in the country; Bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal, President of the country, Minister… if you go against the law, you should be made to face trial. They proved that we are all equal before the law and I congratulate them for that.

Did being docked downgrade their integrity? Did this action compromise the authority of the Bishops before their Christians?

No; on the contrary, because the faithful were also in court…

That said, do you see Mr. Biya, as an antidote to what seems like a looming civil war?

I don’t think there will be a civil war. I don’t think there will be any war at all.  But as everybody keeps crying and I will like you to read my book: ‘My Faith: Cameroon to be Transformed’ Chapter Two, on the minority… ‘The Anglophone Minority in Cameroon.’ I even put together my interviews towards the end of it. Just last year, I was interviewed, I think by one of the newspapers. It is there, it is published in that book; on the Anglophone problem in 2016…

But Mr. Biya’s silence is deafening. He is the nation’s father; he should talk, isn’t it?

I think so too. I think like others, he should have gone down to the field.

But why do you think he is hardly addressing the issue, and even when he mentions it in passing, he is scornful, not consoling?

Well, I think he believes in his army for discipline in the country. He believes in so called elite. I don’t know who an elite is. I think the elite of the people are there in the village with them, not in Yaounde. Those they call elite have been imposed on the people; the Prime Minister was appointed.

He (Mr. Biya) barely returned to the country a few days back. He has been out for an incredibly long period. When the street protests were rife in the Anglophone Regions, a terrorist bomb went off in the US, killing many. Biya condoled with President Trump but said nothing of the scores that were mowed down by his troops back home. It is like someone’s charity beginning abroad, do you think?

Well, it is normal for him to send his condolences to his colleagues outside the country. Politically, you begin with those who are outside but naturally, you begin with yourself. But I think he knows that things are being followed up by the Prime Minister who has no powers by the way. I think he already met with the Prime Minister. I read in the newspapers today (Thursday, October 26) that he received the Prime Minister. I think it was principally for that. I am sure after that he will make a statement.

Why do you say that the PM has no powers? At least he is Head of Government.

He is not elected; he is appointed. He is not like any other Prime Minister elsewhere in the world. He is not like the French Prime Minister. He is appointed; Paul Biya can change him tomorrow.

We have always known you to be Mr. Biya’s friend. Have you sought to discuss the very dicey Anglophone problem with him? He just might hear you out on how to stop the senseless bloodletting…

Oh no! I decided not to see him. You are the first journalist whom I have accepted to talk to…

I am lucky!

But because I believe that they know what is happening. You see, I think that at the reunification, from the start, the idea was to wipe out from Cameroon the Anglo-Saxon culture. I don’t know whether I have ever told you my experience in Rome at the French Embassy to the Holy See. I am in Rome for the Synod of Bishops and the French Embassy invites us for a reception; those of us who were from the French speaking countries. So, I was there and one of the workers in the Embassy approached me and asked me: ‘Monseigneur vous etes de quel pays?’ I told him that I was from Cameroon. Well, being a Diplomat and knowing that Cameroon is bilingual, he should have suspected that I could be from the English speaking part of the country even if I were speaking French. But then, he immediately told me “We are very happy that you are assimilating the Anglophones.” He was in another country, not a French speaking country; which means that was the policy of France. I met the Ambassador of France here not long ago; I told him the same experience that I lived and I said therefore when you form your Diplomats, for those who are coming to Cameroon you tell them to encourage the assimilation of the Anglophones. He said, ‘No, no, that is not it.’ Everybody knows now that Fru Ndi won the elections of 1992. Who organized the coup? It was Mitterrand and I am citing something Mitterrand said to Biya, ‘jamais un Anglophone a Etoudi,’ meaning; never an Anglophone in Etoudi. Well, what is creating the whole problem is the presence of France in Cameroon. Whereas the English people left, whereas they packed their boxes and everything and went away, Cameroon is controlled by France. That’s the problem.

But Your Eminence, Cameroonians in their entirety could decide that enough of France and act strictly as Cameroonians. They could, irrespective of Anglophone-Francophone cultural considerations opt simply for good, credible leadership; good governance.

Why did they not decide that more than 56 years ago, or simply put, since independence? Why did they not arrive at that conclusion? Because they know that France will proceed to organize a coup d’état as she has done in other countries.

And of what interest would it be to France imposing a Francophone in perpetuity in Etoudi?

So that they will have control, and Mitterrand said something, and I got the information. He said that if an Anglophone comes to Etoudi, it will be like giving the country to England. He said ‘On ne serait pas controller par les Anglais’

But Your Eminence, we could decide to undo France’s yoke, act Cameroonian and be truly independent as…

Go ahead and decide.

You could insist on meeting him and talk Mr. Biya into being nationalistic, instead of shrugging your shoulders, throwing in the towel. It is part of your brief as a Prelate, Your Eminence.

I don’t think so. I am writing it down. Maybe one day I will publish it. They know my thinking. Last week I received a Minister here.

Maybe they need a reminder… a difference might be made if you seek an audience with Mr. Biya and talk with him frankly.

I have told his Director of Civil Cabinet, that is, Belinga that I will never ask him again for audience…

Why?

I am tired of asking.

You’ve just confirmed that you have asked and it has been refused?

Well, I asked him and he said nothing. That is refusing. One time I told the President himself that asking for audience with him was humiliating.

And what did he say?

He just smiled. He gave me his number but each time I telephone him, he doesn’t take…

Where were you at reunification?

At the reunification I was 32 and I have lived the 56 years of the reunification. I was still a student; a seminarian. In 1962, I was still a student, not a priest. When I asked my Bishop this question: ‘My Lord…’ He was Bishop Jules Peters. ‘Why do you continue to send us to Nigeria for seminary studies when there is a seminary in Yaounde?’ He told me that, that is a political question. So, I closed my mouth. But now, I was looking for an opportunity to study French so that I will be at home everywhere in Cameroon.

But you are at home here in the French speaking part…

I am coming. Three years after ordination, my Bishop comes to me; I was teaching in Bishop Rogan College and told me that he has decided that I go for further studies in Europe. I immediately asked him that to where in Europe? He was marveled that I could dialogue. He told me Rome. But I told him, My Lord, if I go to Rome I will struggle to learn but Italian and when I come back it will be of no use. I will like to study in a French speaking country, in order to force myself to learn French. This time he said alright and that is why he sent me to France to study in Lyles. I had to struggle to… so that I will be able to express myself in French and will feel at home everywhere in Cameroon. So, when I came of course I did not know that the Lord Himself was preparing to become a Bishop in this part of the country. As soon as I came, I was appointed Bishop of Yagoua surely because I knew some French after studying there. I have been a Priest for 50 years; and a Priest in the English speaking Regions of the country only for nine years. The rest of my years have been spent here. I have never forgotten the fact that when I was appointed Bishop, I was Rector of Bambui Minor Seminary. A Bambui man comes to me and tells me, ‘Father, I now understand the English expression mixed feelings; that you are appointed Bishop, I am happy. But that you are now going to the French speaking side of the country, I am not happy. If tomorrow we cut off, what will happen with you?’ This was in 1979. This is what a retired man told me at that time.

Your Eminence, where do your brother Prelates, especially those of French speaking extraction stand in this Anglophones crisis?”

It is a difficult question. I met the President of the Conference, who is my Bishop and I said look, I have the impression that the Anglophone Bishops have grudges against you. When they were taken to court, none of you was there. I didn’t understand his explanation. But told him if tomorrow I am told that you are in court, I wouldn’t want to know whether you are guilty or not, I will be in court also. If you are to be sentenced, I will want to be there myself. I will not want to go by hearsay. No French speaking Bishop was there. Not even the Secretary of the Bishops Conference was sent to go and see.

They brought up a declaration and people who do not read and understand were thinking that it was a contradiction between what you signed as the President of Bishops Conference and what the six Bishops brought out there. I don’t see any contradiction because for a statement to contradict one another, the subject and the object must be the same. The Archbishop himself went there to intervene in the schools boycott problem but was badly received. He went there as President of the Conference in the English speaking part of the country. They were two of them; the Bishop of Bafang and himself. And none of them speaks English. They were asked (I think it was in Kumbo) how dare you come here and speak in French?

All I try to say is that the English way of looking at things is different from the French. Those who are brought up in the English way are pragmatists. They are writing as those who are living the events. And that is why before the meeting of the “Conseil Permanent” of the Bishops’ Conference, I asked them, was there any Bishop from there? They said no, there was none. The Secretary General of the Conference did not go there; no Bishop from there who was here, you could not have had all the information that was required. That’s why people tend to see a certain contradiction because the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province were firm about it. They called things by their names.

Would it be fair enough to imagine that whereas the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province “call things by their names,” their peers from the French speaking Provinces call things by “political expediencies?”

Well, you know, when I write from hearsay it is not the same like when I write from my personal experiences. We should never write from hearsay. In fact, I will say that the others should keep quiet when the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province write because they know better what is happening. They should at least cite them and not just ignore their declarations.

Interviewed by Charlie Ndi Chia

Akere Muna’s presidential bid: solution to Anglophone ruckus?

Events are gradually panning out and exposing a potential formidable force that might oust President Paul Byia and his Methuselah CPDM sidekick from the arena of politics in Cameroon come 2018 when his current mandate statutorily expires. At least, so seems to think supporters and sympathizers of Cameroon’s 2018 presidential aspirant, Barrister Akere Tabeng Muna, who has announced his readiness to join a coalition for the upcoming appointment, provided its vision aligns with his. Addressing media practitioners during a press conference at his Bastos residence in Yaounde, Wednesday, October 18, 2017, he said that he would cheerfully belong even if the people’schoice of leader were to sideline him.

Acknowledging Cameroon’s impoverished state and the immeasurable hardship that goes with picking up a job incorruptibly, the former chieftain of the International Anti-Corruption watchdog, Transparency International, TI, chastised the state for educating youths and abandoning them to wallow in poverty, no thanks to unemployment and uninviting entrepreneurial atmosphere created by an inelegant governance. He thus promised to initiate a scholarship scheme for 100 students to be handpicked, 10 from each Region of the country. He explained that such a plot would hearten excellence among Cameroonians; a practice he thought, has so far been everything but encouraged.

He enjoined denizens to enroll on electoral registers as the most viable measure to increase their likelihood of securing the Etoudi Palace come 2018 or whenever elections would be organized. He stressed that it is only with pooled resources that Biya, who for 34 long years has occupied the presidency, now called “disunity palace” by regime faultfinders, will be forced to handover its keys. “The only way to go is to go together,” he briefed.

The member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln Inn, Akere, confessed inadequacy relating to the financial wherewithal for the race to Etoudi, but, begged for Cameroonians of voting age to each register and support the vision with FCFA 200 each, to raise enough money for his race to the Unity Palace, when poked regarding the wherewithal to champion such a dreamy cause.

Dwelling on whether he believed he could outsmart 84 year old President Paul Biya during the elections scheduled for 2018, considering decried foulplay that characterizes the Cameroon electoral system, the 65 year old Akere, noted that unlike Biya he had declared his candidature. The two time President (‘Batonnier’) of the Cameroon Bar Association, added that, “Coming at a time when Biya’s emissary elites assigned to the Herculean task of bringing his message of hypothetical goodwill to and dialoguing with his subjects of the two English speaking Regions met obdurate resentment from their kinsmen “back home,” Akere Muna, otherwise an Anglophone elite whose ancestry can blindly be traced to the Northwest Region, announced that his door-to-door campaign will begin in the South Region whenever it will. Fault finders are already quaking with uneasiness as they query that by “further relegating” Anglophone communities to the background, he had coupled with the “oppressor.”

In his defense, the Attorney-at-Law, revealed that there is a problem in the entire country and not just with the Anglophone component. Head him: “For those who know me very well, I started writing about the Anglophone problem long ago. I later wrote an article to my Francophone brothers. I think there is a political push to the Anglophone problem. It is not only a problem for Anglophones. It is a problem of the whole country which is badly managed.”

Questions abound on whether his candidacy declared less than a year to the 2018 elections is window-dressing geared at weakening the Anglophone struggle. The attorney distanced himself from claims that he is an opportunist, thieving the opportunity accorded by the Anglophone calamity to amalgamate wealth and greedily get the top job. He laughed at such “unfounded claims, explaining that an opportunist is someone who either seizes an opportunity, or one who violates laid down rules.”

“There has been a mismanagement of that problem. So, what are the solutions? When I hear of opportunism I laugh. Opportunism has two branches: the opportunity and violation of principles. And by principles, I always talk of bad governance and corruption. One is causing us what we have today. Really, it is based on my principles that I have thought that now is the time for me to act. And I am hoping you will understand that there is an election in less than a year. If we want to spend time being distracted by all the issues then we will pay the hard way like we have done before.

“I think that many Cameroonians are so far understanding me and supporting me and that is why we need to move forward.”

By Claudia Nsono