Maurice Kamto Declares Himself President-Elect of Cameroon

In an election that will go down in the history of Cameroon as one of the most controversial, it has not been short of excitement and intricacies.

With last minute coalitions that were formed, challenged by the electoral commission (ELECAM) and defended by the parties; with warnings made by the Cameroon Communication and Territorial Administration ministers as soon as polling was over; with several reports streaming in from different areas indicating that there were many irregularities; one would have thought it could not get more interesting.

However, as unofficial results made the way across social media sphere, it became obvious that Maurice Kamto, the leader of the  Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) and leader of the Coalition formed with the NOW Movement, was emerging the clear winner.

Despite the fact that Cameroonian law indicates that official announcement of results can only be made by ELECAM and the Constitutional Council, 15 days after polls, Kamto was not to wait for whatever they will declare. An announcement was therefore made by Kamto’s team about a press conference that was to take place on Monday, October 08 at 10.00am in Yaounde. This finally held a few hours later, because of the huge security presence at the initial venue.

During the press conference, Maurice Kamto declared that he had been given the mandate to kick a penalty, he kicked and a goal has been scored. Amidst large cheers from the crowds, Kamto went on to state:

I have closely followed national and international opinion regarding the elections and I am inviting the outgoing president to organize a peaceful handover! As I am involved, I guarantee him and his family a protection at the level of his status. I launch a virulent appeal to all candidates in this election to remain vigilant

Talking about the ongoing crisis in the English-speaking regions of the Country, which has effectively meant that people from those regions did not participate in the elections, Kamto promised to rebuild the villages that have been burned by the Biya regime and to pay compensations to all victims.

It is the hope of many Cameroonians that 85-year-old dictator Paul Biya, will concede victory peacefully and allow the rebuilding process to begin, especially with regards to the fractured North West and South West Regions. Some people, however, are skeptical as they wonder how the man who has been in power for most of his adult life, will suddenly hand over to someone without a fight.

It is expected, that with the ongoing tensions in the English-speaking regions, should Biya refuse to concede victory, there is a high likelihood of a nationwide crisis as supporters of Maurice Kamto will also not be giving up without a fight.

Southern Cameroonians Defy ‘Movement’ Ban – Come out Massively on October 1st

When the West Cameroon Movement for Change (WCMC) called on demonstrations to mark October 1 and all it signifies, it boldly decided that followers in Yaounde should go out and march. This was met by a naive conclusion by Cameroon’s minister for defence, which led to a published letter calling for the military to target Anglophone neighbourhoods in Yaounde. Assessing the situation, WCMC called for their followers in Yaounde to pause the demonstrations but encouraged others in other cities and countries to go ahead. One thing WCMC did not envisage was the resilience of the people within the embattled North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.

As October 1st unfolded and WCMC together with the Southern Cameroons Community UK and other frontline movements, stormed the streets of London, the fever spread across the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

Videos and images began emerging as the day wore on, showing that the people had defied the orders of the Ambazonia Governing Council (AGC), the Ambazonia Interim Government (IG) and the Biya Regime’s representatives in the North West and South West Regions, who all placed a ban on public movement within the regions.

The actions of the people on the ground have shown once more, that all those purporting to be leaders are clearly out of touch with the basic realities and aspirations of their people. I already condemned the strategies, asking people not to go out, as being out of touch with the daily realities of those communities.

The outings that were accompanied in most cases by chantings and carrying of peace plants, were taken a notch higher in others, where the people came out with weapons and some hoisted the Ambazonia flag on some prominent government buildings.

As much as I continue to admire the resilience of the people, I still remain of the opinion that the hoisting of flags, the use of force in challenging the brutal military of Biya, will not take the people forward towards freedom. I maintain the opinion that the only way towards any form of freedom for the people of the English-speaking Regions and by extension for all Cameroonians, is for them to unite and oust Biya from power.

It is my hope that over the coming days, there will be some form of mass uprising as the campaign trail brings up pent-up emotions within all parts of Cameroon and the people gradually come to the realisation that unless they come together as one and demand an end to Biya’s 36 years of barren rule, they may have another 7 years added to it.

Ghost Town Claims Two Victims in Buea – Cameroon

Ghost towns were meant to be a form of civil disobedience across English-Speaking Cameroon. It was meant to force the government to stop its systematic attack on the socio-cultural values of Anglophones and treating them as second-class citizens in their own country.

However, as time has passed, ghost towns have become generating human ghosts. Two young men gave up their ghosts after being shot in broad daylight in the South West Regional Capital of Cameroon.

As the images and videos flooded social media, it became apparent, that as with many unresolved crimes being committed on a daily basis within the English-Speaking Regions, the truth of what actually happened, may never be known.

Some accounts state that the military drove by and shot the boys, one of whom has been identified to be a taxi driver. These accounts are however contradicted by some who claim that the boys were shot by renegades who felt that the victims were violating Ghost towns.

Ghost towns simply imply that no business is meant to operate on that day. This implies that people are forced to stay indoors. However, a few people do loiter around to grab some necessities, whenever they can. It will be recalled that the 17-Year-Old nursing mother, who was raped by ‘security’ personnel, also got attacked on a ghost town day.

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The difficulty in getting a clear account of what happened typifies the challenges that ghost towns are bringing on the population. As there are few or no persons around, these days have become fertile for illegal activities, both by hoodlums and the military, who happen to be the only ones who can dare walk about freely on such days.

In addition to the security challenges that ghost town days now pose, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know what exactly to do on such days. In the same Buea for example, the Mayor has been reported to have gone out on such days to shut down businesses that are obeying the boycott and deflating the tires of taxis which are not operating. On the flip side, should these businesses and taximen choose to obey the mayor, they run the risk of being targeted by the ghost town enforcers.

The people are therefore caught in a difficult situation. It is hoped that with the up-coming elections taking place in Cameroon, there might be a change of leadership, ushering in a new president who will engage with the crisis and find a longlasting solution. Such a hope is, however, very slim, considering Biya’s history of rigging elections.

Cameroon Elections 2018 – The Ambazonia Boycott and Its Implications For the People of Southern Cameroons

I have been trying to find the logic behind the calls for boycott by the Ambazonian leaders. At best, it appears as a knee-jeck reaction to a situation, rather than a well thought out plan that can yield tangible results in determining a better future for the people of Southern Cameroons in particular, and the rest of Cameroon in general.

Coming across this article, I cannot resist the urge to publish it here. Unfortunately, the writer did not include their name, but the logic is sound. I am therefore assuming their pemission to publish this, given that it is already in the public domain. I will be happier though, if the author could identify themselves.

Happy Reading!!

There are 3 major political blunders in the history of Cameroon that have significantly altered the destiny of Cameroon. I mention these just because decisions of great consequence only get fully understood with the passage of time. And within our current context, we need to appropriately situate the consequences of the decision of many to boycott the 2018 election.

My hope is that you will read this message, gain some benefit from it and use it to clarify your thinking in this moment of great confusion and pain for our people. Most of the decisions made today are done by individuals who I can criticize. However, the only active player I will mention is Biya – because he is the one we should be focused on replacing.

Let us go to the beginning…

1. THE UPC BOYCOTT In 1955, the UPC decided to boycott the coalition proposed by Soppo Priso because they wanted France to leave Cameroon and grant immediate independence. Pierre Messmer, the French Governor cut a deal with Ahidjo that created the Mbida-Ahidjo government. This boycott resulted in the North-South alliance that has dominated politics in Cameroon for 57 years.

2. THE SDF BOYCOTT – In March 1992, John Fru Ndi decided to boycott the first multiparty parliamentary election. Despite the boycott, the opposition comprised 51% of the parliament, which weakened the control of the Executive. From 1992 to 1997, many progressive events took place – AAC conferences, calls for a Constitutional Conference, the Tripartite talks and the 1996 constitution. This progressive trend only started failing after the return to parliament in 1997. Since 1997, the SDF has consistently lost seats in parliament and today controls 9% of the 180 seats. The insistence by Fru Ndi to remain opposition leader regardless of the series of successive defeats and the SDF’s inability to adapt into a true coalition remains the central contributor to the long-term impotence of the opposition.

3. THE AMBAZONIAN BOYCOTT – On October 7, 2018, there will be a Presidential election in Cameroon. Paul Biya is at his weakest and the world is watching like never before. For the first time, there are credible opposition candidates and with advances in technology, it is increasingly difficult to rig an election where the opposition decides to compete. While many expect it to be a close election, the only way to get Biya out and contemplate a new political future for Southern Cameroonians is to bring the 800,000+ Southern Cameroonian votes into the coalition. This is the final option to resolve this crisis politically. If we boycott, the only option is a military solution.

DECISION POINT
With record by numbers of Southern Cameroonians fleeing, even to LRC, it is time for the Southern Cameroonians intellectuals to seriously weigh the options – particularly members of the Diaspora. Today, they cannot pretend that the problem does not exist. Most families have either lost relatives or know of others who are refugees or internally displaced.

There are many legitimate grievances we can lay claim to. However, any objective observer will agree that the amateurism of the people who claim to speak for all Southern Cameroonians has resulted in a loss of every opportunity to defeat Biya internationally and created a culture of violence and reprisals at home. By insisting that all Southern Cameroonians should tow the independence line, they have stifled the most fundamental of all freedoms – the freedom of thought, and have prevented the integration of majority of progressives who can add value to the range of options that must be employed to hold the Biya regime accountable in the court of international public opinion.

The fact that we have been rebranded from a peaceful non-resistance movement to a secessionist (and terrorist to some) organization is a testament to the failure of imagination and leadership of those who claim the right to speak for millions of Southern Cameroonians.

The time has come to put an end to this. It is not enough to think we must be monochromatic in our thinking because we are all Southern Cameroonians. Right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of the fact that we are all Southern Cameroonians. A government that raises 2 million dollars to create a 200 million+ dollars problem that is borne solely by the victims it claims to represent has failed. PERIOD!

We should stop deceiving ourselves that this interim government has the answers. We should stop deceiving ourselves that Biya is a regime propped up by France. The cooperation accords with France expired in 2010 and Biya did not renew them. The oil we keep saying is exploited by France is now owned primarily by the British, Chinese and the Russians. So how does our IG alienate France, ignore the British, Chinese and Russian interests and claim it is doing any work, let alone think? Does the IG realize that this fight has not started and all Biya has been doing is provoking a situation that will suppress opposition votes in the NW and SW, secure a mandate and then accelerate the disintegration of Southern Cameroons? Are the warlords on the internet going to come back to Cameroon to secure territory and fight?

My fellow Southern Cameroonians – we are heading in the wrong direction. And if any leader – whether a Facebook warrior or member of the IG disagrees with what I am saying, they should go online and state so publicly. I insist on them doing so publicly because the record should indicate after October 8th that they took the position. This stupidity by people who are thousands of miles away has got to stop.

The only plan Biya has after October 7 is to use his mandate (derived largely from the Southern Cameroonian boycott) and embark on a pacification program similar to what was done with the UPC in the 1960s. With arms from China, the best we can realistically hope for is an intensification of hostilities and eradication of nationalism from Southern Cameroons.

We can avoid this. War and Peace are choices. Victory and Defeat are choices.

But we all have to realize the clock is ticking fast. And if you care about this, start calling your friends and relatives to tell them things are going to get serious and we need to take action immediately. We lose nothing by voting but everything by refusing to vote.

The time has come to ask the IG to make a u-turn to the ballot box. If not, let the record indicate that we had the opportunity to avoid crashing into an abyss – and our leaders insisted that we should maintain the course, play into Biya’s hands and accelerate the deconstruction of Southern Cameroons.

If we stay silent and do nothing, history judge our decision to boycott not as another act of popular resistance, but as the biggest strategic blunder in the difficult history of Southern Cameroons. It will be a blunder orchestrated at a time when there are Southern Cameroonians around the world in positions of power and privilege, we have access to the corridors of power and technology AND Biya is 85 years old and at his weakest. We will fail not because our cause is unjust, but because we have allowed a team of people bereft of imagination and moral clarity to assume the mantle of leadership.

We have to stop this circus of listening to an IG that does not have a command and control structure on the ground and a growing band of militias who keep saying that they are relying on instructions from the IG. This struggle is now a ship without a captain and we are about to reach a point of no return. We are not seeing the number of victims grow exponentially while the agenda is increasingly controlled by a small team of narcissists who know that true democracy will deprive them of their claims of leadership.

The time has come for the Diaspora to rethink the extent to which it has been manipulated. The time has come for the people on the ground to know that the small group of extreme voices who control the social media narrative are more interested in holding onto power and will never come to Cameroon to fight for them. The progress we have made so far has been in spite of the poor leadership of Biya and the IG. We are on our own and we better start thinking of what is best for us as individuals and for our people. And when we do, we should make sure we give the right advice to our friends and relatives at home who rely on our counsel.

We can beat Biya and secure a Federation in 2019 that meets the aspiration of our people. We can change course on October 7, and let the political process and a new President address our grievances. However, if we say no, the IG better start telling people to start buying coffins, preparing for airstrikes on our towns and villages and the probability of fighting against the Russians and the Chinese.

That may very well be when we will start realizing how stupid we have been all along.

IGNORANCE WILL NOT BE AN EXCUSE AFTER OCTOBER 7, 2018. STOP ALLOWING GHOSTS TO DETERMINE YOUR DESTINY UNLESS YOU WANT TO BECOME A GHOST. THINK FOR YOURSELF. YOUR VOTING CARD IS STRONGER THAN ANY AMBA BULLET.

Cameroon Bribes UN Human Rights Centre to Cover its Abuses?

Many people have wondered why many international bodies reporting on human rights abuses, have been conspicuously silent on the case of Cameroon, especially the abuses committed by the Biya Regime.

The UN Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa has clarified the situation. Some of them are receiving donations from the same corrupt institutions they are meant to be watchdogs over. Proudly announcing a donation of $18K from Cameroon on their Twitter Account, the UN Human Rights was probably unprepared for the reaction they received from some Cameroonian Activists.

With the Biya regime’s record on bribery and corruption, such donations can only be construed to mean one thing. An incentive to the HR body to look the other way, while it continues with its flagrant disregard for human rights.

Many Twitter users stormed the tweet, posting images and videos of the different abuses the Cameroon government has been meting out on its population over the last few months. Some questioned why the Centre for Human Rights will accept donations from a

Thomas-Awah-Junior.jpg
Thomas Awah Junior currently very ill at Kondengui Maximum Prison

country that has refused to grant access to most Rights bodies to examine its detention centres and prisons. Such questions are not surprising, given that videos have been leaked from the Kondengui maximum security prison, indicating horrible living conditions. There is also currently a campaign on social media asking for the release of one Thomas Awah Junior, publisher of the Aghem News Magazine who is critically ill at the Kondengui Maximum Prison in Yaounde.

Judith Nwana, a Cameroonian activist, accused the UN Human Rights Centre for its hypocrisy. She further challenged the regime to use the money in helping refugees and internally displaced persons caused by its highhandedness in dealing with the ongoing crisis in the English-Speaking Regions of the country.

Over the last couple of years, Cameroon has been gradually descending into a state of anarchy. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, has visited Cameroon at the heart of the conflict, during which, Cameroonians worldwide held their breath as they hoped and prayed that something positive would happen following the visit. The SG rather left with a gift from the Cameroon Dictator Paul Biya, and never made an official statement about the crisis. The hopes of Cameroonians were again crushed, as it was the case when Biya visited the vatican and met with the Pope.

Efforts by the media outlet, Inner City Press to call on the UN to act and halt the violent crackdown in Cameroon, rather resulted in them being harassed and kicked out of the United Nations.

It would, therefore, appear that while Cameroonians are desperately hoping that the UN might intervene in some way to help them out of the precarious situation they find themselves, the different organs of the UN and its leaders are rather making feather beds with the Cameroon dictator and his regime.

This should not in the least be surprising, given that the UN has been known to be silent over the worst conflicts or genocides that have occurred over the last few decades. The Rwanda Genocide is a case in point, where the UN’s inaction has been largely blamed for the high number of deaths that were recorded.

Unless other bodies such as Amnesty Internation and Centre for Human Rights & Democracy in Africa continue to put out reports of the atrocities being committed by the Biya Regime, it is certain that no one will. Most certainly not the UN Centre for Human Rights.

Cameroon Military Fights to Maintain their Record in Barbarism

Some have argued that the videos had already been taken and stored in an archive, where they are being released. Some argue they were taken recently. It is difficult to tell from the videos exactly when they were taken. Some have even argued that the videos are taken at the same spot, which seems to be the execution area for the Cameroon military.

 

What is not difficult to see is the barbarism that takes place within these videos. As the war rages on in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, many commentators are worried that similar atrocities are being committed and might be released on a later date.

This video might not evoke the same feelings as it did in the last one involving women and children, but it seems to take the barbarism up a notch. The video shows a single man, sitting, blindfolded and hands tied to his back. He is about to be summarily executed, but one soldier thinks that death from gunshots will not inflict as much pain as he would love. So he goes on to use a machete to cut one of the man’s feet. Other, speaking in French, say ‘he will be taken by surprise’, meaning probably that the man will not be expecting the cut as he knows he is about to be shot. The man’s reaction is slower than one would expect from such sharp pain, maybe a bit disappointing for his torturers, who would have expected more. Probably, because he had already been tortured to the extent that he is numb to pain.

Mercifully, for the man, before he could begin to experience the excruciating pain inflicted on him by the cut, the order is given and many automatic weapons ring out. Listening to it, one would think that the army is attacking another battalion. But no! All those bullets are for one man, helplessly tied to the ground already bleeding and dying. He does not stand a chance.

It makes one wonder. Why are the Cameroon military exhibiting so much anger? Could it be because they are involved in wars against citizens of their own country, something they are not trained to do? If that were the case, then why do they not take out the anger on the one person, who is responsible for the dilapidation of the country?

The man in the video is accused of being a Boko Haram ‘terrorist’ but what one sees from the military, the reverse seems to be the case. They seem to be the ones carrying out the acts of terrorism that will forever haunt all who watch their gruesome videos.

 

Why I Can’t Be Silent about School Boycott in English-speaking Cameroon

When I talk about schools in d North West and South West Regions  of Cameroon, It is not as if I stand to personally gain or lose if schools remain closed.

Malala

When I speak out against school boycott, I am thinking of the child who did NOT choose any of these.

I am thinking of the child who sits and wonders why they cannot go to school but their rich  neighbour’s kids have either gone to school in other towns or the expensive ones where there is security.

I am thinking of that child whose dream to read and write is being taken away, yet they have no say.

I am thinking of that child who, because of school boycott, is now subjected to child labour in the farms.

I am thinking of that child who will be forced into marriage because they have no reason to stay around.

I am thinking of that child who will want to understand why there is a war, but will have to rely on oral history, because they cannot research and read for themselves

I am thinking of that child who will not understand why both factions in the conflict claim to be fighting for their future yet neglect their present.

That child who wonders why it is that despite insecurity, other businesses function but schools do not.

YES.. I don’t own a school and I have no kids of my own who have to go to school.

I could keep quite because of the insults and threats to my life… but if I do, how will I sleep at night knowing that these children will one day accuse me of doing nothing.

If I keep quiet because I am afraid to use my education to speak out, then I don’t deserve to extoll the virtues I have acquired from my learning.

Malala  Yousafzai, a little girl from an obscure town in Pakistan, spoke out when a Taliban gun was held to her head. She believed it was better to die than remain uneducated.

She took a bullet from the Taliban but the education acquired by the medics at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham UK, saved her.

She inspires me today. Because of her, as much as I dread the insults, threats to my life and that of my family, it is nothing compared to what Malala had to endure because she wanted to go to school.

So as much as I will want to, I am SORRY, I cannot keep silent on the issue.

When I talk about schools in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, It is not as if I stand to personally gain or lose if schools remain closed.

When I speak out against school boycott, I am thinking of the child who did NOT choose any of these.

I am thinking of the child who sits and wonders why they cannot go to school but their rich neighbour’s kids have either gone to school in other towns or the expensive ones where there is security.

I am thinking of that child whose dream to read and write is being taken away, yet they have no say.

I am thinking of that child who, because of school boycott, is now subjected to child labour in the farms.

I am thinking of that child who will be forced into marriage because they have no reason to stay around.

I am thinking of that child who will want to understand why there is a war, but will have to rely on oral history, because they cannot research and read for themselves

I am thinking of that child who will not understand why both factions in the conflict claim to be fighting for their future yet neglect their present.

That child who wonders why it is that despite insecurity, other businesses function but schools do not.

YES.. I don’t own a school and I have no kids of my own who have to go to school.

I could keep quite because of the insults and threats to my life… but if I do, how will I sleep at night knowing that these children will one day accuse me of doing nothing.

If I keep quiet because I am afraid to use my education to speak out, then I don’t deserve to extoll the virtues I have acquired from my learning.

Malala Yusuf, a little girl from an obscure town in Pakistan, spoke out when a Taliban gun was held to her head. She believed it was better to die than remain uneducated.

She took a bullet from the Taliban but the education acquired by the medics at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham UK, saved her.

She inspires me today. Because of her, as much as I dread the insults, threats to my life and that of my family, it is nothing compared to what Malala had to endure because she wanted to go to school.

So as much as I will want to, I am SORRY, I cannot keep silent on the issue.

As much as I want to avoid the threats and insults, I think I should rather be glad they are not as bad as a Taliban gun placed to the head of a little child who wanted nothing but to go to school.

For that reason, I continue to plead with both sides of the conflict in Cameroon especially the Regime of Biya… do something, any thing, that will allow kids to go to school without fear of being kidnapped or attacked.

Floods in Yaounde-Cameroon Further Expose the Degeneration of the Country

One thing that is common to all Cameroonians, irrespective of what language they speak, is that they will be familiar with poverty and poor infrastructural development. For 36 years that Cameroon’s dictator Paul Biya has been in power, there has been little done to repair or boost the country’s delipidating structures.

As some people in the English-speaking North West and South West Regions have taken to armed struggle, in a bid to get out of the collapsing system, more evidence is emerging, which indicates that it is a nationwide problem.

A video has emerged showing how minor rainfall in the Cameroon Capital city Yaounde, has led to flooding around schools. The video taken at the  EtougEbe Baptist school, Shows how the flooding has resulted in the trapping kids from going home and parents from coming in to pick them. One of the major causes of flooding in Cameroon’s major cities has been attributed to poor drainage systems, exacerbated by overuse of plastic materials which form a great percentage of rubbish, which paradoxically is never cleared by the city councils. This is just one sign to indicate that no part of the country is free from the Biya virus.

A research I carried out in Ngoundere in the Adamawa region in 2011, established the case of regional inequality along religious lines rather than linguistic ones. The research revealed that the causes of inequality and underdevelopment of Vina in the Adamawa Region are among other things, the absence of the rule of law, poor governance, and the ambivalence of the state towards development. This is a phenomenon that cuts across the whole of the country.

It comes therefore as no surprise that as Biya is advocating to stand for another seven-year term come October 7, 2018, the level of disdain and challenge for his bid has increased across the length and breadth of the country. It is projected that there might be a nationwide riot in Cameroon should Biya win another term as president.

 

 

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.