As we watched the sham at the Constitutional Council in Yaoundé after the so-called elections on October 7, there are legitimate questions as to what this means to the Ambazonia struggle.
No sane person ever believed that the CPDM was going to lose this ‘election’. Let’s look at some facts. Biya appointed the Constitutional Council and all the members of Elecam. I have friends who work at the latter and have personally quizzed them and I was bewildered. Elecam is now a fully-fletched government body. The employees have service numbers and boast about their jobs as if they were doctors in hospitals or teachers in schools.
They earn huge salaries and Elecam has a vast budget funded by the CPDM-run central government. The principal loyalty of Elecam and Constitutional Council employees is with their employer. The Constitutional Council and Elecam were intended to show the AU, UN, the world and some gullible Cameroonians that there is a semblance of democracy and civility in Yaoundé.
So to understand the current events in Yaoundé, one has to recognise that elections are not won on polling day. They are won before the first ‘ballot’ is cast. The CPDM criminal contraption had designed this pathway to victory many years in advance. Indeed, it has done this same thing many times before and to suddenly think it will do anything different is naïve.
For just over a year now, the people of French Cameroun have watched in silence how forces loyal to Paul Biya slaughter Ambazonians. Villages have been burnt, and internally, thousands have been displaced. There are more than 100,000 Southern Cameroonians living as refugees in neighbouring Nigeria. Many have questioned if these people realise that nothing strengthens authority like silence. Many have overheard Francophones question the audacity of Anglophones to challenge Biya’s authority.
In the minds of many Francophones, the military loyal to Yaoundé has every right to stop the Amba revolution. Although they have been experiencing inexcusable poverty and hardship, Francophones have been lured into this myth that they are superior to Anglophones.
This falsehood has been drilled into their minds since 1960. So when Southern Cameroonians declared independence last October, the reaction within French Cameroon was that of indignation. Many French Cameroonians see it as a patriotic duty to support their government as Cameroon is one and indivisible. A capital lie that CPDM enjoys peddling.
Many temporarily forgot about their wretchedness. Many of them underscore neutrality when the Ambazonia issue comes up, overlooking the fact that if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. The basic fact that Francophones never saw the Ambazonia issue as an opportunity to kick the CPDM out is worrying.
For Ambazonians, the charade in Yaoundé is a blessing in disguise. Had Paul Biya been a man of dignity and exited the stage making Prof Maurice Kamto president, it would have been the beginning of the end of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. The international community would have asked us to negotiate with Maurice Kamto on his terms. Diluted Federalism would have been forced upon us. CPDM remaining in power shows the world that this evil tyrant is exactly what we have been saying he is.
As a people, the time has never been right to mobilise our resources and energy against illegal occupation. Let’s not waste time and energy following or worrying about the events on the other side. That’s a foreign nation. The people of La Republique can decide what’s good for them. They can sit silently and continue in mental bondage under Paul Biya or they can stand up to him.
The words of John Kennedy that those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable should be in the lips of every French Cameroonian.
Nothing but force will kick Biya and the Beti gang out of power. For over three decades, the people of La Republique have been sinning by their silence. They have been guilty of complicity. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
All evidence points to the fact that Southern Cameroonians were right to take to the streets last year to protest against occupation, first-rate state corruption, tribalism and subjugation to create the state of Ambazonia. As brutality followed the peaceful protests, self-defence was the only legitimate option. All the great nations of the world fought for their freedom. Francophones are somehow oblivious to this simple fact.
The time has come for French Cameroonians to decide their future. Ambazonians have done that by declaring independence and there’s no turning back. Francophones have to realise that one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws and governments. The time has come when every French Cameroonian with any likeness of moral authority, self-respect with hope for future generations has to stand up and be counted or die in servitude.
By Asu Vera Eyere