Despite mounting French Cameroun army atrocities in Southern Cameroons and towards the Ambazonia leadership, Biya and his gang of French Cameroun political elites should begin dealing directly with the Ambazonian leader, President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe in an effort to bring the violence in Southern Cameroons under control and get both sides of the political divide to the negotiating table in a foreign land and with a neutral third party to chair the talks.
Biya’s recent call for national dialogue which has become increasingly common in French Cameroun editorial columns, on the floor of the Francophone dominated national assembly and in open-door cabinet meetings in the Star Building presided over by Prime Minister Dion Ngute will fail woefully.
The Francophone political elites who have erected a stonewall all in a bid to prevent Biya from holding talks with the Ambazonian leadership are making the same serious error the late Prof Martin Belinga and Rene Sadi made by deceiving the Buhari administration in Nigeria that arresting President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his top aides will bring an end to hostilities.
French Cameroun political elites who say the so-called national dialogue should be held without the jailed Ambazonia leadership do not understand the nature of the Southern Cameroons crisis and the Southern Cameroons Interim Government.
We of the Cameroon Concord News Group do not believe that this is a duel between two personalities, Biya and Ayuk Tabe. It is a confrontation between two different peoples, French Cameroun and British Southern Cameroons. Correspondingly, it is a costly mistake on the French Cameroun side to ignore the fact that President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe represents the Southern Cameroons people — their hopes, their desperation, their mistakes, and their language and not Peter Mafany Musonge, Atanga Nji or Dion Ngute. It is also an illusion to think that if Sisiku Ayuk Tabe is kept in jail for life, the problems of the one and indivisible Cameroon would be solved.
Pro Biya comedians such as Ngolle Ngolle Elvis, Victor Mengot, Paul Tasong and Elung Paul also forget, or unrealistically discount, the wide-ranging international Southern Cameroons diaspora support that President Sisiku Ayuk has cultivated from South Africa and Europe to much of the USA and Canada.
The arrest of President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his top aides in Abuja, Nigeria and the systematic infiltration of the Ambazonia Interim Government under Dr Sako Ikome by French Cameroun agents caused the Southern Cameroons Interim Government to lose control over armed Ambazonia factions operating in both the Northern and Southern Zones of Ambazonia.
For the sake of Biya’s own legacy, and peace in the Gulf of Guinea, Biya and French Cameroun must make sure that the Ambazonia Interim Government has one authority over the rifles in Southern Cameroons. Bankrolling the creation of several militias in Southern Cameroons is not the solution but is instead making matters more intractable.
Though Ambazonia Restoration Forces have made no fatal attacks on French Cameroun army soldiers in the last several days, it is evident that those attacks will resume as the diaspora have began regrouping under the banner of Patriotic Amba Citizens and raising tens of thousand dollars in 72 hours to finance the resistance and its jailed leadership.
Biya and French Cameroun for the last time should avoid counterproductive acts that could further inflame the situation and drag the fighting into French Cameroun. Added to this hydra-headed situation is the fact that it is indeed hard to tell who has legitimate authority in French Cameroun.
French Cameroun Minister of Interior, Paul Atanga Nji has constantly contradicted Prime Minister Dion Ngute on the way forward in resolving the crisis in Ambazonia. Biya himself has also been flip-flopping on his position! Today he is not talking to terrorists; tomorrow he is willing to dialogue with separatists. Yet his acolytes insist that when he articulates policy he speaks for the entire government of French Cameroun.
In his rare televised address to French speaking Cameroonians recently, Biya proposed nothing as a long-term plan for Southern Cameroonians. We of the Concord Group are aware that Biya will come under fierce criticism if he meets with President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe but that will be the right thing to do.
Biya and French Cameroun are claiming that they cannot negotiate under fire from the Ambazonia Interim Government but Vice President Dabney Yerima of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia has also opined that Biya must talk to the jailed Ambazonia leaders about how to bring an end to the fire.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai