Archive | February, 2017

RESIGNATION NOT ACCEPTED! ‘Anglophone’ Movements Leadership

25 Feb

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

The day Mark Bareta and Tapang Ivo were called to the stewardship of being Consortium interim leaders by Dr. Balla Agbor when he anticipated his imminent arrest by Cameroun authorities was the day they not only accepted the call of a great man but was the day they most importantly accepted the “People’s Call” also. These duo have in their dynamism shown commitment to the values and goals of the Southern Cameroons people’s cause. We others must understand and accept that leadership be it militant or diplomatic is an on-the-job learning and skill acquisition process. These two have in two months succeeded to build communication channels and social dialogue bridges that were broken by decades of rancor between contesting leaders and organisations.

To the leadership of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, many leaders forget the cost of leadership. Being a leader requires you to sacrifice time, money, efforts and endure struggles and pain. We always talk about the benefits of leadership, but we fail to count the cost of it. We all can learn to play different roles at different stages in our organisation. Great leaders take responsibility for their actions, especially the mistakes and failures.1  “People in power are faced with temptation every day. They often must make choices between doing what is right for the organization and what is in their own best interests.” (Glen Llopis, Forbes Magazine)

To the Honourable Tassang Wilfred, one needs not be a behaviouralist or an expert at psychoanalysis to suspect from the last video that he is under situational pressure and emotional anxiety from lack of access to family most importantly and open liberty from whoever has access to or is hosting him in hideout. Which is the more reason the interim leadership must stand and hold firm until it can be ascertained that he is enjoying all his rational capacities and is under no duress or influence. We must take care of our own, whether held in captivity or under undue influence from consular authorities and peers alike.

“McCain is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” (Donald Trump, Race to the US White House) In all its arrogance, this statement above is however a double edged sword. Chose the kind of leader you want for your cause, the captured one personifies our sense of injustice, deprivation and moral conscience.A captured hero pinpoints the source from where our affliction is being projected, it gives us the physical address of whom the oppressor is. A captured hero darling to us invokes in us the spirit of a freedom fighter and liberator. The hero who returns from a battle with his physical freedom will definitely bask in the welcome and acclaim of the masses, they will go on to become living personification of victory and continuity whenever and wherever the call of duty comes up. The hero who fought and lived to tell the battle field story of his captured and fallen comrades on the fields of fire has a responsibility to lead the people in the liberation of the captured yet again but this time you definitely need your lieutenants to lead the charge with you. You need these lieutenants to carry on the struggle if you’re in turn preyed upon by the same oppressive cabal that abducted your peers previously.

On this note, we the People, in whose name the various Southern Cameroon liberation movements are acting demand to know what are their “real” plans to advance this cause further now that they think Tapang and Bareta must step aside and be forgiven for an undisclosed sin? It is not enough to take them out without offering us a broader road-map to the solution desired.

It is not because one was in the company of Dr. Balla Agbor that qualifies them to usurp his position, what qualifies someone is their shared vision, their leadership and coordination prowess. In my opinion therefore, Dr. Balla Agbor who had probably never met Tapang and Bareta in person felt he had met them in these qualities. Interim remains interim until it behaves contrary to or far beyond the struggle’s goals. Interim does not however mean one is less of an actual leader. It just happens that in organisations led by charismatic leaders as ours, when such a leader is abducted but still alive, their office most remain vacant in anticipation of their return to either assume it or give it up to the the progressive forces who brought about the change.

Let the photo below of Dr. Balla Agbor Nkongho with his fist raised defiantly on the day of his trial at the military tribunal in Yaounde-Cameroun on March 23 2017 serve as motivation why the struggle must continue and to why we the people are on this cause: To undo what 56 years of the Cameroons reunification which has been hijacked by misgivings, clientelism, patronage, linguistic prejudice, social, economic and political marginalisation of minorities, identity assimilation, ethnic hegemony, breakdown in constitutionalism and rule of law, loss of civil liberties, freedoms and human rights abuses. The remedy for which has been the call for a republican system and administrative setup in which people and individuals can live in social cohesion, multi-culturally coexist, aspire to and effectively become agents of nation building and development without being subjected to repression and mediocre means.

L’image contient peut-être : 1 personne


19 Feb

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

The government of Cameroun is yet to ever embrace the hard truth that its diaspora plays a major role in the political, social and economic life of the country. This diaspora that the Yaounde tribal cabal of a regime has branded as extremists and manipulators by World Bank statistics accounts for 30% percent of Cameroons GDP in the form of remittances, add to these payments for importing goods, services, formal and informal sector human resource and material investments…

In West Cameroon, the diaspora is the backbone of the community.One will seldom find a family without a relative abroad in Africa or on other continents. With the anglophone component of the state’s population seriously disadvantaged in much sought after public service employment sector, it has reinvented itself as the prime mover in the digital economy and private sector entrepreneurship home-diaspora business ventures, despite the lack of an investment code that provides incentives specifically targeting diaspora investors. As it stands the investment statutes treat foreign investments in a basket case without preference for foreign based citizens or expatriates. It is far easier for a Chinese business to set up shop in Cameroon than it is for a Cameroonian expatriate to set up the same business.

In recent years, there have been shy efforts in government institutions to integrate the diaspora.The announced creation of a department in charge of diaspora affairs is yet to ever make its impact felt or come up with a policy paper for the future. The right to vote has been extended abroad but not the right to be elected exists as of now. Cameroons diplomatic representations are very out of contact with Cameroonians abroad and visits to them are often done for consular and civil status registration services mostly. Fellow African countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Chad have gone far in this aspect by recognizing dual-citizenship as a way to encourage brain-gain and integration of their diaspora in national life but in Cameroon a 1968 law on nationality remains ambiguous and selectively recognises dual nationality, most favourably for sports and state elites.

The West Cameroonian diaspora since January 17, 2017 has been cut off from cyber based communication utilities with home communities because it leads the charge in decrying and exposing government’s repression and gross human rights abuses on Anglophone citizens. Today the diaspora is being punished for its civic activism and political dynamism. Today government is targeting diaspora returnees and residents for direct and covert arrest and prosecution for dissent in exposing its abuses on citizens at foreign embassies and international organisations. Today government is hurting the diaspora psychologically by its disproportionate use of brutal and lethal force on members of their home communities.

The diaspora however refuses to be silenced, it has experienced what freedom of the individual and good governance is all about while residing abroad and will not therefore settle for anything less than these same wellness of society being served to their folks back at home. The diaspora has earned comparative experience of political economic systems and as such believes it is its moral and civic duty and right to transfer or cause similar impact of the functional benefits they find dysfunctional and lacking in their homeland.
Time is priceless and of essence in the Southern Cameroons question. The more government deprives people from communicating with its previous century repressive tactics, the more it increases anti government sentiments and widens the void for dialogue and peace. The task of nation building, social cohesion and pacific coexistence in diversity needs to be government’s long term policy and institutional super plan. Only government can narrow the chasm between the governed and the governor at this stage, if it continues to resort to force, it may obtain an uneasy peace that is doomed to shatter once the pressure of public discontent reaches or supersedes previous levels before the crack down.


Govmen Dey Kill We!

17 Feb

By Nwanatifu Nwaco
It’s 30 days today since the repressive government of Cameroun arrested and jailed the cause leaders of the marginalized people of Southern Cameroons.
It’s 30 days today since the stone age mentality regime in Cameroun shut-off Internet access to the English speaking regions of the country.
If Cameroon was ever ”one and indivisible” as claimed by regime lackeys and majoritarian apologists, I hereby bring it to their attention that today we have a country which if united by anything else, is divided along internet lines! We have become “Internet refugees!”
Cameroun government and its majoritarian sympathizers think unity, social cohesion and harmonious coexistence is imposed by might and decrees, and not attained or achieved by dialogue and consensus. It’s now clear that they love the land and resources more than they love Southern Cameroonian people. It is this land and its riches beneath they love, not we the people! Else how can one explain the arrogant indifference and open hate speech spewed out by most “ordinary” francophones on social media and their physical efforts to break the will of the people through sabotage of the struggle in our own home towns??
If you think I am joking or lying, go then and read the hate filled comments they post below the publications of moderate and sympathetic francophones! And observe the vigor with which they are bent on ending our civil disobedience campaign, I repeat if the current deadlock isnt resolved, the alienated minority will go for desperate options to which the over confident majority is willing to pay the price in Rwanda 94 part 2!


10 Feb

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

A reign terror and state sanctioned violence has descended upon the population in the English speaking regions of Cameroon. In the face of government intransigence, arrogance, snubbing, a prolonged military repression, the disproportionate use of force and brutality, wanton arrests, extortion, rape, deprivation, economic meltdown, rape, intimidation, human rights abuses and the curtailment of civil liberties and public freedoms, elite collusion and general insincerity from the central government to enact reforms; the people of West Cameroon are getting bolder by the days in articulating and aggregating their interests.

The reports coming from the communities about sporadic acts of arson, sabotage and targeting of perceived oppressors with the intention to cause physical injury is witness to the fact that people’s agitation has reached a tipping point where fear and civil disobedience as a tactic is now is being normalized as a not too-scary-issue anymore if people are pushed further out of the tolerance zones. Cameroons policy on national integration, social cohesion and its overall civil-military relations is being tested in the behavioural laboratory as we read.

The central government really needs to smart up, end its arrogant posturing and initiate meaningful dialogue with the people. It can as well internally democratise itself by auto-enacting reforms based on the list of popular demands called for, if it is too proud to talk with the activists it has branded as extremists and terrorists.We may in all naivety still call this resistance a peaceful revolution but from the way its folding and faulting, it is gradually getting into a rebellion or insurrection if left unchecked by the bravado posturings on both camps.

It is easy and just for government to use military force against out of state invasive militant groups but it is counter productive in the case where it concerns its own citizens and indigenous populations. Using these same tactics is nothing short of a massacre and genocide. Inasmuch as civil society leaders have called on the affected population to show restrain and pursue their cause via non-violent means, it has no enforcement mechanism to deter lone-wolf and sporadic outbursts of force from the weary population.

If these self-defense and vigilante acts replicate itself in multiple communities, I strongly doubt if the government of Cameroon has the human resources to suppress anti government subversive acts in all these communities, given that it is already entrenched in campaigns against the religious fundamentalist group Boko Haram in the North of the country from Nigeria and guerrilla rebels encroaching in the east of the country from the volatile Central African republic. Add to these maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the needs for everyday public security in every municipality across the country.

Cameroon is among the top five countries in the world according to the World Economic Forum 2017 report with a very diversified and varied linguistic and ethnic cluster, minting a homogeneous nation-state out of this variables given the current world order is not a feat that can be dictated or decreed but must be negotiated in the most elaborate liberal constitutional and republican sought of an à la carte menu. As long as the hegemony of state elites from power wielding clans dominates the discourse, minority questions will remain the Siamese twin of state formation, nationalism, human and resource governance, representation and the political culture of the country.Hence fragilizing the country even more and earning it dismal scores on the failed states index.

The government of Cameroon must understand that it does not have the monopoly over setting the national agenda always but shares and derives it more fundamentally from the people: the true reservoir of sovereignty exercised directly or indirectly. Federalism as a state system is therefore valid and negotiable as requested by the people of Southern Cameroon contrary to government’s one and indivisible centralisation rhetoric. Government must be able to discern what a state system is from what and administrative system is.

In order to avoid an escalation of a full scale rebellion, the government and the leadership of the West/Southern Cameroon cause must make compromise and concessions, call in quasi neutral mediators and arbitrators so as to break their deadlock and chart a road map for a peaceful resolution of the Anglophone problem which is on the highway to becoming Africa’s next breaking news conflict.



7 Feb

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

The government cabal of Cameroun is always quick to say the country is constitutionally one and indivisible but I beg to differ with this assertion! Cameroon for now as has been for the past 56 years, been more appropriately: A ONE AND DIVERSE COUNTRY. A country diverse in its ethnicity, languages, geography, history, political culture, colonial legacy, jurisprudence and even its aspirations for the future. Cameroon is the country where you have a national anthem although with the same melody yet it conveys a different lyrical message when sung in English or French, clearly attests to the fact that there are two entities in one country with unique identities, historical experiences and aspirations for the future. 

The divide isn’t just geographical but has become digital too. Internet connections have been completely shut down in the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon since January 17, 2017. All government attempts to co-opt the resistance by means of mass arrests, intimidation, xenophobia from local and national elites loyal to the regime, propaganda through the national radio and television broadcaster, bribery of unscrupulous and dubious trade unionists to call of the strikes and “Ghost town” operations devoutly observed by West Cameroonians have been met with further civil disobedience. The government as a matter of fact is now in a conundrum on how to restore social order after its miscalculations and high-handed strategy of arresting anglophone leaders, banning pressure groups and prematurely ending dialogue. Even its attempts at creating new language and culture institutions by decree without consultation with stakeholders or politicizing sports have met with indifference from the masses.
Until a time when the government shall recognize this diversity, only then shall multiculturalism and national integration be attained, unless it recognizes and protects minority rights, only then shall it legitimately pride itself of achieving national unity. Until when the rule of law shall replace the impunity of state elites, only then can it invoke its claim to being a democratic country. Until when social cohesion, inter-communal dialogue and majoritarian solidarity shall become standard norms in nation building, only then shall it pride itself egalitarian and peaceful! Until when it shall guarantee the enjoyment of human rights, civil freedoms and public liberties, only then must it lay claim to the title of being Africa in miniature.


5 Feb

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

I wish Cameroonians were as united and had solidarity for their fellow citizens the way they do when the national football team is playing. If we can share the joys of sports together, so then must we also share in the pain of our fellow citizens whose rights and freedoms are being abused with impunity.Now that the trophy has been won, I hope our dire political crisis wouldn’t be relegated to the shadows of victory celebrations. An intelligent leadership will seize this opportunity to grant clemency to political prisoners and announce national reconciliation and lasting reforms to our national identity and constitutional crisis.

The Struggle Continues