Nigeria’s Apostle Johnson Sulaiman Forced by Ambazonians to Make Clarifications on Prophecy

Apostle Johnson Sulaiman is one of Nigeria’s modern-day preachers, who has never been far from controversy.  Beginning with the 2016 controversial anti-preaching bill in Kaduna State the founder of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, prophesied the death of Governor El-Rufai. Challenged by the Governor to say the exact date, the Apostle failed to do so.

Other controversies have been unrelated to prophecies. These have revolved around issues of the preacher’s alleged sexual exploits with women spanning from Nigeria to Canada.

 

Recently, the Apostle has dabbled into prophecies about the on-going crisis in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. As the killings have intensified between the Cameroon military and separatist fighters, the number of refugees flocking into Nigeria and the number of internally displaced people have quadrupled. In Sulaiman’s prophecy, which was being translated into French, the preacher explained that while there were two camps fighting – the Government and the Freedom fighters – there was a third camp of rebels who were carrying out heinous crimes against the population. This third group is constantly referred to by the preacher as ‘rebels’, whom he prophesies, will be crushed by the Cameroon Military within 7 days.

For some unknown reason, Ambazonians construed the message to mean that the prophet was calling them rebels and that his prophesy implied they will be crushed within 7 days. This made them go on the rampage on social media, calling out the prophet on the many prophecies he had made in the past that did not materialise.

Despite claiming that he had been called by God to pass on a message specifically to Cameroon by making him a ‘Prophet to Cameroon’ and stating that he felt Cameroon was his second country after Nigeria, the man of God was not spared by the Ambazonia social media warriors.

This has forced the Apostle to go on air to clarify what he meant in his prophecy. While he calls it a prophecy, his message is clearly a logical conclusion from the actual events unfolding on the ground. As the hostilities have intensified between the Cameroonian military and separatist groups, there have been increasing reports of kidnappings for ransom, killings of civilians, some of whom have been branded ‘traitors’ and arson on the properties of persons considered to be pro-Biya or his regime. The recent mayhem has been unleashed on schools and school children, as the debate rages on whether schools should resume or not. Despite the statement by the Ambazonia interim government calling for school resumption, other separatist leaders such as Ayaba Cho Lucas of the Ambazonia Governing Council have contrary views about school resumption. This has therefore led to a security situation where everyone is a victim.

While both sides blame each other for the atrocities, what has been left unsaid is that the security vacuum has led to criminals stepping into also commit atrocities and benefit from the situation. This probably is the group that Apostle Souleman refers to. Whatever the case, the question remains as to whether his prophecy of 7 days will come to pass. Given the situation in Cameroon, it might be difficult to say if that should happen.

It is, however, worth mentioning that the Apostle has been known to make predictions that never came to pass. A case in point is the Ekiti governorship election, where the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) standard bearer, Dr. Kayode Fayemi defeated the PDP’s candidate, Prof. Olusola Eleka, to emerge as governor-elect, despite the fact that Sulaiman had prophesied a PDP win.  It will, therefore, come as no surprise, should it turn out that this is just another prophecy that takes advantage of an unfolding situation, but claims to have been a message directly from God.

 

Cameroon Ruling Party Militant Rejects Biya: Asks Other Party Members to Do Same

One of the most difficult things to understand in Cameroon politics is why any one would support the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Party (CPDM). I had some years back, classed them as a bunch of people who celebrate mediocrity. However, when Biya declared his intention to stand for president – AGAIN, I was shocked to see members of the party supporting this bid. The most disturbing justification given by most of them is that Biya is their natural candidate and that no one can perform the job as good as he does.

This assertion is weird in many ways. First, the fact that Biya is over 86 years old, has been president for 36 years with nothing to show for it. Second is the fact that even if Biya were to win another term, there is no guarantee that he will live above 90 given his constant medical trips to Swticerland. The question that has always plagued my mind is what will happen to this party when nature takes its course and Biya leaves the stage? One thing to note is that Biya currently is the emblem of the party. Every party uniform or publicity material carries a more than 30 years old picture of Biya. It seems however, that like Biya, the militants of this party are happy to see Cameroon sink.

But not one lady who identifies herself as Solange Siret and her residence as Switzerland. In a self-made video that had been making its rounds on social media, Solange has finally decided that enough is enough.

Wearing her party uniform and ensuring that Biya’s picture was in the background, this lady lamented on how bad the situation in Cameroon is. She decries the fact that Biya has decided to run for another term. To her, this is totally unacceptable. Her reason is not that Biya is incompetent, which would be the blatant truth. She makes the logical argument that at Biya’s age, he should be retired and testing at his home in Mvomeka. She explains that given Biya’s age, it is most certain that many decisions of State will be taken by others.

Ms Siret goes on to state categorically that if Biya is a candidate at the 7th October elections, she will be voting another person. She then goes on to call on other militants of her party to do the same.

While I am of the impression that this lady might have seen the handwriting on the wall and is making sure she crosses on the right side of history before doomsday, I cannot help but applaud her actions. Many Cameroonians on social media have expressed the fear that this lady’s life might be in danger, with some cautioning that she should go into hiding. Such sentiments are borne of the fact that over the 36 years of his barren rule, Biya has responded to criticisms by either killing or imprisonment.

Whether other members of the party will hearken to Solange’s plea is a matter of conjecture. I am however of the impression that even if all the members of the party including Biya’s wife were to vote a different candidate, the electoral mechanism in Cameroon is such that Biya will still emerge as a winner.

So, rather than calling on others to vote another candidate, the right call will be for them to pressure Biya to stand down as a candidate before the election date. That is the only way to guarantee that Biya will not come forth as the undeserving winner of an election, organised while a part of the country is embroiled in civil conflict.

Cameroon: South West Elites Expose Their Ignorance: Challenged By Women Calling for Peace

A few weeks ago, elites of the North West Region of Cameroon got together and raised funds to support Biya’s bid for another term as president, ignoring the fact that Biya had ordered the military to kill and maim young people in their Region.

If one thought they had seen the height of  stupidity, they were yet to see the actions of Elites from the other Region of English-speaking Cameroon. A few days ago the elites of the South West Region met in Buea, and instead of condemning the massacre of their citizens, they, among other things demanded that Biya increase the number of troops in the region.

In addition to calling for more troop deployment, the South West Forum rejected the peace conference initiative of Christian Cardinal Tumi and denounced a Two-State Federation. Paradoxically, they resolved to call for inclusive dialogue.

Either they clearly do not understand what the words “inclusive” and “dialogue” means, or they are the most deluded people ever to sit in one room. By rejecting Tumi’s Peace Conference and rejecting a Two-State Federation, while calling for increased troop deployment, they have in more ways than one, indicated that they did not want a resolution to the current crisis. It is therefore, a mere façade when they claim to love their people.

As if in confirmation of how out of touch the South West Forum and it’s elites are, women of the Region have today gathered in Buea to protest against the ongoing war and indiscriminate violence against the most vulnerable.

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Holding placards and peace plants, the message and call for Peace could not have been clearer. One placard read : WAR IS COSTLY, BUT PEACE IS PRICELESS” This summarises how the women feel about the continuation of hostilities.

The match today clearly highlights that the elites do not know what their people want, and are not even ready to understand what is required.  It is hoped that the peace match by the women of the South West Region can be copied across the English-speaking Regions and be the rallying action for Peace.

Since Biya refused to hearken to the peaceful demands of civil society and resorted to violence, it is estimated that over 6000 people have been killed, over 40.000 refugees in Nigeria, 160.000 internally displaced and over a 100 villages have been burned. The economic cost of the violence is yet to be fathomed.

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s win: A New Dawn or Continuation of a Legacy?

As the dust settles on the confirmation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s win in last month’s polls by Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court, one begins to wonder what exactly the future is for the country.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance and its candidate, Nelson Chamisa had brought a legal challenge saying the vote was impaired by “mammoth theft and fraud”. The rejection of this claim by the court has left Mr. Chamisa, with no alternative than to concede defeat.

It is alleged that despite accepting defeat, Nelson Chamisa has maintained that he will

Zimbabwe's President-Elect: Emmerson Mnangagwa
Zimbabwe’s President-Elect: Emmerson Mnangagwa

not refer to Emmerson Mnangagwa as president, but simply as ‘Mr’. Whatever the case, this confirmation of the election results means that 75-year-old Emmerson Mnangagwa remains as the 3rd President of Zimbabwe.

This election is Zimbabwe’s first since long-time President Robert Mugabe was ousted from power last year, in what can best be described as a ‘bloodless coup d’etat’. The question now remains as to whether this win marks a new dawn for Zimbabwean politics or it is simply a continuation of the last dispensation.

Sometime in 2011, I wrote a piece analysing the case of Zimbabwe. One of my conclusions then was that  “‘the central and dominant variable determining…developmental success or failure’ is politics. If there is any reason there is widespread poverty in Zimbabwe today, it is the poverty of its politics. This means that the solution cannot come from the same failed politics but from a “…more explicit…  integrated theory of political and economic development” which will take into account the different nuances that make up the complex and unique political entity called Zimbabwe”.

I think that my view today is not much different. People have been under the misguided impression that merely ousting Mugabe from power will usher in a new dawn for the development of the country. I felt and still feel that Mugabe’s exit, was a well-orchestrated plan to ensure that his successor is someone who will continue his legacy, without actually appearing to do so. I may be wrong, but if the current president has, throughout his political life, supported the same ideals as Mugabe, what is the guarantee that a mere change in his title will create a different vision. But, perhaps, by being voted in, he may well start bringing about policies that are aimed at improving the overall wellbeing of the masses, rather than just the political class. There is, however, no guarantee that this will happen, as has often been the case in most young African democracies.

Paul Collier has argued that the lack of checks and balances can lead democracies to make even more of a mess of a political situation than autocracies, for “…  it turns out that democracy is a little bit more complicated… Because there are two distinct aspects of democracy. There’s electoral competition, which determines how you acquire power, and there are checks and balances, which determine how you use power. It turns out that electoral competition is the thing that’s doing the damage with democracy… And so, what the countries of the bottom billion need is very strong checks and balances. They haven’t got them. They got instant democracy in the 1990s: elections without checks and balances.’

If Collier’s view is anything to go by, the current election of Emmerson Mnangagwa through electoral competition is just the first stage, and in fact, the less important one. The determining factor will be whether Zimbabwe has got the right checks and balances to ensure that the current president does not end up living a similar legacy of sitting tight when everything else around them is crumbling.

Julius Sello Malema, the leader of the South African far-left, Economic Freedom Fighters, has in one of his videos been heard to proclaim that Zimbabweans, will be the only African country in the next 10 years which will be truly independent. If this turns out to be the case, then one might agree that Mugabe might not have had a bad outcome after all. But this outcome is largely dependent on what Mugabe’s successor does. If there is true economic independence for Zimbabwe, then its current president has no excuse not to take the country into a new phase of its history.

The Two-State Federation Flag

Video Evidence of Fon Gorji-Dinka Acknowledging that a Treaty was Signed between Southern Cameroons and French Cameroun

After writing the piece in which I challenged some of the conclusions arrived at by Professor Carlson Anyangwe in his write-up on the Root Causes of the Anglophone Crisis, I received a lot of counter-challenges on social media. One issue that stood out from all these, was the Foumban Conference. Some were of the view that as nothing was signed following that conference, it did not warrant mention by the professor. Others were of the opinion that the plebiscite itself was a non-starter as it violated international law and some previous UNGA Resolutions.

Given that Carlson Anyangwe clearly acknowledges that the Plebiscite was legal, I decided to look into the issues of why Resolution 1608 of 21 April 1961 was not properly implemented. My greatest challenge was the fact that following the endorsement of the vote by the UN and the meeting of the leaders of the two Cameroons in July 1961 in Foumban, Southern Cameroons became West Cameroon and La Republique Du Cameroun became East Cameroon, in a Federal Structure. I was therefore at a loss as to what could have transpired between July 1961 and October 1961, that led Southern Cameroons to give up everything to French Cameroon.

This question seems to have been answered by a video in which Fon Gorj-Dinka acknowledges that there actually was a Treaty of Foumban. In this video, Gorji-Dinka can be heard quoting article one of that treaty. According to him, it is the treaty that gave rise to the Two-State Federation.

It is very logical, therefore, to conclude that there actually was an agreement between the two Cameroons, which was breached by Amadou Ahidjo in 1972. While Gorji-Dinka seeks redress by arguing that this breach, led to the cancellation of the new state and the ‘resurrection of the old ones that united to give it birth, I argue, as I did in my piece in response to Anyangwe, that the breach of 1972 is constitutional. The remedy for the breach of 1972, therefore, will be about getting the deal that Southern Cameroons got in Foumban.

My Take on Professor C Anyangwe’s Presentation “ROOT CAUSES OF THE ONGOING WAR IMPOSED ON AMBAZONIA BY FRENCH CAMEROUN”

I want to start by appreciating the time and effort you have put into this write-up dated 18 August 2018. Your title talks about ‘root causes’ which got me interested as I have been looking forward to getting into the heart of the problem and see exactly it started. The use of the words ‘root causes’ are also captivating as they have been bandied around quite a bit since this current phase of the Anglophone struggle started.

Professor Carlson Anyangwe
Professor Carlson Anyangwe

The first difficulty I have is that the very first sentence of your introduction presents ‘root causes’ as ‘remote causes’.  That, unfortunately, means you started on the wrong foot. Root Causes according to the Collins Dictionary are “the fundamental reason for the occurrence of a problem”, whereas remote causes are those that are somehow obscure. From the lexicon meaning of the two words, there is no way they can be synonymous. Also, within legal parlance, remote causes are often considered to be speculative rather than direct, consequently are not given the weighting that direct, or root causes have. However, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I will treat your causes both as root and remote. I will take the definition of remote in this context to mean “far in the past” – hence remote will be about distance in memory.

Your first cause is the “Non-decolonization of the Southern British Cameroons”. I would naturally have ignored your usage of the name ‘Southern British Cameroons’ but given that you attached a lot of importance on name in a part of your write-up, let me just clear this up. There NEVER was any territory called ‘Southern British Cameroons’ or ‘British Southern Cameroons’, as some call it. It has always been officially, either British Cameroons (which included Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons) or simply Southern Cameroons when reference was being made to our territory. If we must pay attention to issues of nomenclature, it is essential that we also get the name of our territory correct.

On the political and legal issues that you raise, I will deal with a few. 

You term the phrasing of the plebiscite questions as ‘dubious’. That may be the case, but what you fail to acknowledge was that in the UNGA Resolution 1350 of 16 October 1959, the questions are recommended, based on discussions that had taken place in the Southern Cameroons House of Assembly. I wish to also point out that UNGA Resolution 1350 of 13 March 1959, had given the Southern Cameroons House of assembly the opportunity to come up with suggestions for the plebiscite questions before the 14th Session of the UNGA. Resolution 1352 makes reference to the difficulties that the Southern Cameroons Premier and leader of the opposition had in coming to an agreement. It is therefore misleading to make it sound as if the plebiscite questions were simply imposed on Southern Cameroonians.

In discussing UNGA Res 1608 (XV) of 21 April 1961 which endorsed the results of the Plebiscite vote, you left out the fact that the resolution ends by inviting the Plebiscite Administering authority, the Government of Southern Cameroons and The Republic of Cameroon to initiate discussions upon which the agreed outcomes of the plebiscite will be implemented. You therefore conveniently leave out the fact that such discussions took place in Foumban, in July 1961. Whether or not the process and the level of discussions were fair, is entirely another question. However, it is misleading for you to make it appear as if after the passing of Resolution 1608, the content of the Federations was “On 1 September 1961… unilaterally determined and imposed by French Cameroun, resulting in the disguised annexation of the Southern Cameroons.” This statement by you, not only misrepresents the facts and timeline of events, it is craftily designed to bolster your argument of annexation, which has been peddled around for so long.

I agree with you that the manner in which the United Kingdom handled the termination of its Trusteeship is suspect. It, however, does not deviate from the fact that this is a blip in the process of implementing the outcome of a public vote.

On the second part of your first cause, where you claim to be discussing the ‘moral question’, I struggle to see any ethical issues raised. Rather, you spend time, making a case against Federalism. You make the valid point that Ahidjo failed to uphold the agreements that led to a federal structure. However, you completely fail to address the fact that Ahidjo’s breach in 1972, amounts to what can only be classed as a constitutional breach. If we are to treat what occurred between Southern Cameroons and The Republic of Cameroon as a contract, then the remedy for this breach will be to put Southern Cameroons where they would have been, had the breach not occurred. You will agree with me that, should that be done, then we end up again with a Two-State Federation.

However, should we treat the breach as an abuse of power by a public authority, making it an issue of Public Law, then the remedy we can seek, will be by means of a judicial review. There is no legal precedence to suggest that such a Judicial Review will amount to a nullification of the plebiscite results. The only remedy that can be sought is for the 1972 decision to be reversed. That will leave us again within a Two State Federation.

So as much as you try to debunk the quest for a return to Federation, it appears to be the only legal remedy available to Southern Cameroonians. The only other case, which I have not seen you make, is to call for a second referendum/plebiscite, to ask Southern Cameroonians to vote again, as the outcome of such a vote is the only democratic process to overturn the February 11, 1961 vote.

Your second cause, which you class as “French Cameroun’s territorial aggrandisement claim to the territory of the Southern Cameroons”, sees you making another bogus claim. You claim that “The territory of the Southern Cameroons has never ever been part of the territories of French Cameroun before, at or after that country’s ‘independence’ from France.“ This is factually and historically incorrect. I will want to draw your attention to the fact that Treaty of Versailles, divided the German territory of Kamerun on June 28, 1919, between France and the United Kingdom, under a League of Nations Mandate, What is important to note is that when the Germans were ousted in 1916, the French, administered the whole occupied territory, until the League of Nations Mandate created the arbitrary division. As such, France naturally got the larger part of the territory, while Southern Cameroons and Northern Cameroons were ceded to the British.

You are drawing on international law to disapprove of expansionism (Colonialism, imperialism) and territorial aggrandisement, yet a sentence before that, you are asking that French Cameroon ought to respect the outcomes of what it inherited from colonialism. I agree with you that at some point, we ought to move past the issues of colonialism and the destruction it wrought on our communities. However, you cannot claim to be denouncing colonial tendencies, while hanging on to the proceeds of colonialism as the basis for your arguments. The principle of contradiction states that a thing cannot be and not be from the same point of view. Either colonialism is bad, and we cannot lay claim to proceeds of colonialism, or it is not entirely bad and we can accept that the Southern Cameroons we are laying claim to today, was a colonial creation.

This brings me to the most important point about the issue of root and remote causes. The foregoing section has indicated that you completely failed to identify the root cause of the current crisis. The fundamental cause of what we have today, rather than being the botched decolonisation process, which you so painstakingly describe, is rather the creation of the colonial divide. But for the colonisation by Germans, our territories would have evolved differently and there is no guarantee that we would have Southern Cameroons. But for the arbitrary division in 1919 between the English and French, there would be no such thing as Southern Cameroons or Anglophones or English-Speaking Cameroons. So, you will agree with me that when we talk about the root causes, we can look no further than colonialism and Western Imperialism.

However, the causes which you have brought up, had you been factual, historically and logically honest, can well fall under the category of remote causes or immediate causes. This would be especially true, given that you rightly point out a lot of barbarism that has been visited on the English-Speaking Cameroonians by both the Ahidjo and Biya regimes, under what you class as your third root cause.

You conclude with a revolutionary message of hope. However, it is mired in deception, as your analysis has been far from being truthful. You claim that the weekend in Washington DC marks the watershed moment in the history of our struggle. However, I am sorry to say that reading through the resolutions, I am yet to see that ground-breaking innovation that came out from the conference. Rather, I see a regurgitation of policies began by the Federalist Consortium.

I kept wondering why it is that our leaders with all the knowledge base among them, seem unable to come up with innovative ways to steer this struggle, beyond relying on archaic strategies such as ghost towns and school-boycott, which regrettably, heaps more misery on our own people than it does to Biya’s regime.

By reading through your presentation, I am beginning to see why. Intellectual dishonesty, the presentation of half-truths and outright lies, are surely not foundations upon which we can build a truly successful revolutionary movement to guarantee our freedom.

Kemta Attacks Paul Biya, Again – On His Hospital Bed

Every human being has their nemesis. Biya’s nemesis seems to be CODE and its operations man, Emmanuel Kemta. After chasing Biya from his hotel in Switzerland on several occasions, after taking to music to attack and blame Biya for the escalation of the Anglophone crisis, Kemta has decided this time to push it a notch further.

On what promised to be a peaceful Sunday at the Geneva University Hospitals, on a day that a cross-generation of Anglophone leaders converged in Washington DC in a historic match, Kemta decided that Biya will have no rest.

Recounting the killing of women and children by the Cameroon military, the killing of Anglophones and Biya’s dismal 36 years of governance, that has left the country without credible medical facilities. Kemta goes on to ask Biya why he has failed to develop Cameroon’s infrastructure and is currently enjoying those of a foreign country.

Finally, Kemta promised Biya that he will be staying on in Switzerland for at least one month and Biya will be receiving a visit from him every week. Other activists have also promised to join Kemta.

Should other activists join in this quest of chasing Biya out of Switzerland, there might be a chance that he will eventually find it uncomfortable enough to stay in Cameroon and address the issues that require his attention. To begin with, he might call off the war that has been declared on Anglophones, which is claiming the lives of young people on a daily basis.

Biya is also hoping to run for the upcoming elections in Cameroon due to take place on October 7. Should Biya win another 7-year term, that will mean, failing to die in power, he will be over 94 years old when that term ends.

The Paradox of #Anglophone Children Going to Study in French #Cameroon

The last few days have been particularly difficult for me. This is probably because I am very passionate about education and as September approaches, I cannot bear the thought of Anglophone children staying out of school for another academic year.

Importance of Education for Motivation - Jim rohn
Importance of Education for Motivation – Jim Rohn

I was mildly optimistic that the Anglophone leaders meeting in Washington DC over the weekend will make this a priority and pressure the Yaounde regime into some form of capitulation. As this did not happen, I was nursing my disappointment, I came across a Facebook post in which the person jocularly indicated that Anglophones were now going abroad to study in La Republique Du Cameroun.

Making reference to the ultimatum issued by Chris Anu, the Ambazonia Interim Government Communication Secretary, who gave till the end of May  2018, for Francophones to leave and advised Anglophones to come back home, this Facebook post pointed to the irony that the reverse was happening – Anglophones were rather going over to French Cameroon, to ensure the education of their children.

Education leads to Peace
Education leads to Peace

This trend should not in the least be surprising, given the importance placed on education within African societies. Education is seen as the only way out of poverty and the assurance of a better future. For parents, therefore, who have had their kids out of school for two years, this is as much a sacrifice as they can make.

The paradox of the situation, however, is that the Anglophone crisis began in 2016, in part, as a quest to stop the Francophonisation of English schools. By prolonging the school boycott strategy and forcing Anglophone families to send their kids into the French-Speaking zones, the policy is not only depriving the Anglophone region of financial resources, it is achieving the exact thing, the protests in 2016 sought to challenge.

The longer the school boycott strategy is in force, the more Anglophone providers of education suffer; the longer the strategy persists, teachers, especially those employed by the private sector, suffer and the more Anglophone Children find themselves at the heart of a French system of education.

Education is the sure means to a sustainable Future
Education is the sure means to a Sustainable Future

I must state here, however, that this happens to be only the children of well-to-do families. The poorer children, whose parents cannot afford to send them to the French areas to study, will be left uneducated. This, therefore, creates another problem. A class distinction, in which the rich create opportunities for their kids, while the poor suffer the brunt of the school boycott approach. In the not too distant future, the rich will inevitably become richer, while the poor will remain servants thereby broadening the class distinction.

Justice Ayah Paul Contends that School Resumption & Ending Of Hostilities are Mutually Inclusive

As the dust is about to settle on the just-concluded All Ambazonia Consultative Council (AACC) which held over the weekend in Washington DC, some people have been left underwhelmed, not least, Justice Ayah Paul Abine. In a post on his personal Facebook Page, the former Justice in a strongly-worded statement makes the case of why school resumption and cessation of hostilities were absolutely necessary. In my recommendations to the conveners of the conference, I had seven points that they could consider, among which were the declaration of a ceasefire and school resumption.

Justice Ayah Paul Abine
Justice Ayah Paul Abine

In that write-up, I was too optimistic and had treated both the issues of school resumption and cessation of hostilities, as mutually exclusive. I also made an argument that the call for hostilities to end could come from the Anglophone leaders. Ayah Paul has debunked this by arguing that the Cameroon government “cannot declare war and call on the adverse party to lay down their arms unilaterally.” and that the same government “cannot argue the case for a return to normalcy when [they] go killing people indiscriminately, including the most innocent”. After reading these logical arguments, I must admit that I was naive to assume that it was possible for such a solution to have come from the Anglophone leaders. Following therefore on the superior logic of Ayah, I will submit that ending of hostilities remains the responsibility of the Biya Regime.

The issue on which Ayah and I do agree on is the importance of education for the building of a sustainable future. Ayah argues clearly that:

…we owe posterity a collective duty to prepare those growing up to take the relay baton from us. Therefore, I am one with all those who hold that education is too invaluable to be toyed with. None of us would be doing with efficiency what we are doing today without education. It is absolutely self-defeating to prosecute for a better tomorrow and perpetrate simultaneously conduct that mars that very tomorrow.

The importance of education both as a human right and a conditio sine qua non for the sustainability of the Anglophone quest for freedom, having been established, the question remains as to how this can be achieved in an environment of conflict.

First off, we can all agree that school boycott has no impact on Biya, who has not placed any value on quality education in the 36 years he has been in power. If we agree on that, then we can also agree that Biya will never be moved by the declaration over the weekend, from the Anglophone leaders that schools should not resume. On the other hand, should the leaders of the opposing camp take up the challenge and highlight the importance of school resumption, they will automatically heap pressure on the regime, whose duty it is to ensure that children going to school are not put in harm’s way.

While reiterating therefore that the starting point for any calls for school resumption should be the cessation of hostilities, Ayah Paul goes on to declare that the Anglophone leaders have as much a responsibility as the Biya regime in making this happen. He argues that although the responsibility for ending the conflict lies with the regime, it is not a blank cheque for Anglophone leaders

…  at home and/or abroad [to] take refuge under continuing hostilities to stay formally resolute against the reopening of schools. My considered opinion is that we should leave the door open, thereby shifting the blame to those guilty of belligerency.

If the Anglophone leaders truly care about the future of the children at home, if they care about posterity and the sustainability of the quest for freedom, then they will surely be revisiting their resolution that schools should not reopen.

 

 

Southern Cameroonians Descend on Washington DC: Demand A Response from the Rest of the World

It was meant to be a weekend during which the frontline leaders of the English-speaking Cameroon Struggle speak as one, in a bid to find a way forward.

The leaders started with closed door meetings, followed by a session during which people across the world called in to voice their opinions.

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The highlight of the weekend however has been the massive crowd that stormed the streets of Washington DC on this Sunday 19 August 2018.

Their message was simple: the world cannot keep quiet while Cameroonians of English extraction were being killed by the Biya Regime.  While this is a compelling message, it does not fully capture the reality of the situation.

While the Biya Regime has been engaged in killings and burning down of villages, the pro-independence fighters, under the banner of self defence have been engage in repprisal attacks on both the military and those tagged as ‘traitors’ or ‘black legs’. What this effectively means is that, as the conflict continues, Cameroonians are killing each other, while the person who has the ability to halt hostilities is tucked away in a Swiss Hotel.

It is true that Cameroonians are dying on a daily basis. It is also true that killings are taking place on both sides. The most true of all is that every one loses except those in positions of power.

As I suggested in one of my posts, the leaders of the Anglophone struggle also have the ability to declare a ceasefire and take some measures that will ease the dire living conditions of those at the heart of the raging conflict.

Until such time when one side decides to put the wellbeing of the masses ahead of their ideology, this will continue to be a lose-lose situation for ordinary Cameroonian within the English-speaking Regions.

Until such time, it is difficult to say what the response of the rest of the world could be, other than a call on both sides to halt the hostilities.